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Everyone wants to win the lottery, but sadly, only a handful of lottery players ever do.
While walking away with the Mega Millions jackpot or Powerball jackpot requires a bit of luck, part of the success also comes down to lottery strategy.
So what are some lottery hacks you can use to beat the odds and win that life-changing big prize of money everyone’s after?
I share with you the best tricks to help you win the lottery and what to do if you win.
Wile these tricks aren’t guaranteed to leave you laughing all the way to the bank, they can give you a better chance and boost your odds of winning some money.
Table of Contents
#1. Join A Lottery Syndicate
Some past lottery winners strongly advise against joining a lottery syndicate.
But the truth is, relying on the luck of past winners will leave you counting losses and ultimately on the verge of giving up.
Instead of trying to win alone, consider joining a group of like-minded players.
Playing as lottery pools means you’ll spend less money and have more lottery tickets and numbers to try your luck with.
Thus you will have better odds of winning. However, with a syndicate, you’ll need to be prepared to split the lottery winnings with the other members.
#2. Keep Your Lottery Tickets Even After Losing
Tossing your lottery ticket after losing a draw isn’t advisable.
Most lotteries offer players second-chance drawings, meaning you can fill out and submit the forms to stand a chance of winning the second chance draw.
This happened to my parents. They played a game but didn’t have the winning ticket.
But there was a second chance drawing so they sent in their ticket. A few months later, they got a check in the mail for $50 because they won this second prize drawing.
Therefore, in case you don’t land the magic numbers in the first draw, you should keep your ticket and try again as long as the lottery house allows for second chances.
#3. Change Your Lottery Strategies
While winning the lottery comes down to chance, attempting to understand the numbers can help boost your odds of walking away with the grand prize.
The good thing is, you can choose to either play along or against the trends after analyzing statistics, whichever floats your boat.
When playing, here are some important lottery statistics to keep in mind:
- Hot numbers: These are lottery numbers that are commonly drawn in the past months. It could be one number or a combination of numbers.
- Cold numbers: A cold number is the opposite of a hot number and is one that hasn’t been drawn frequently.
- Overdue numbers: An overdue number is one that hasn’t been drawn for long in a specific type of lottery.
Therefore, when trying your luck, you can choose to mix the hot, cold, and overdue numbers.
You should also play around with odd numbers, even numbers, and low numbers to boost your chances of landing the big jackpot.
#4. Target Rare Numbers for Bigger Jackpots
No single number is more important or special than others in a lottery since, like a game of chance, all numbers have equal odds of winning.
But by choosing rare, hard-to-predict numbers, you’ll be well-placed to walk away with a larger payout.
With rare numbers, you won’t have to split the prize money with too many people since the chances of guessing such numbers are usually low. This means you’ll have a higher chance to walk away with more money as you’ll be splitting the cash with a handful of people if any!
#5. Try Playing Unpopular Games
Sure, playing less popular lottery games with lower payouts compared to multi-jurisdictional lotteries might not sound ideal.
However, your odds of winning will significantly increase when playing less popular games than when trying your hand at extremely popular ones.
Smaller lotteries are advantageous as you won’t be competing against millions of other players.
This is especially true for a state lottery. If you can play one that not many lottery players play, your chances of winning go way up.
The fewer tickets placed in the drum, the better your chances of walking away with the money, so instead of following the herd, try being the lone wolf and see whether it’s your time to laugh all the way to the bank.
#6. Create A Lottery Budget
If you want to stand a genuine shot at winning the lottery, then it’s best to have a long-term plan.
Planning for the long term will help you remain motivated even when things aren’t going your way.
The trick to winning the lottery is playing around with odds. And to boost your odds of winning, you’ll need to purchase as many tickets as possible, which can get costly if overdone.
Creating a lottery budget not only helps you maintain a desired level of consistency but also prevents you from splurging more cash than you’re willing to lose.
Therefore, before you start spending money on tickets, it’s highly advisable to determine the total costs you’re willing to incur either weekly or monthly on lottery tickets.
Your lottery budget will keep you in check, ensuring you don’t go overboard but still remain capable of playing consistently.
#7. Shake Things Up
No matter how many hours you spend analyzing lottery statistics, the game still remains the same, a game of chance!
No amount of analysis will be enough to crack the code, and due to this, you should try shaking things up every now and then.
Some people prefer picking similar number patterns, while others prefer flipping the script and trying different patterns.
The good news is there is no formula, and any past lottery winner will agree, it all comes down to luck and your instincts. So if you feel like switching up the usual pattern, don’t hesitate to do so.
Switch from always picking your lucky numbers and try random numbers. You can find number generators free online.
The idea is to remain open-minded and try as many times as possible, so don’t be afraid to pick new numbers every once in a while.
#8. Keep Your Lottery Ticket Safe
Did you know that a large number of players win but fail to claim their jackpot money?
As a good rule, you should always store or place your lottery ticket somewhere safe and easily accessible.
You can also write down the drawing date and time in a diary or type it on your phone to keep tabs.
Ensure that you always double-check your numbers, just to be 100% sure that you have or have not won.
Lottery tickets can also get stolen, so it’s best to sign them at the back to prove they belong to you in case of theft.
And instead of handing over your tickets to a store clerk for confirmation, using a computer terminal is highly recommended to ensure you don’t get duped off your winnings.
Next, take extra care when checking your tickets to ensure you check drawings for the exact dates. Some people have failed to claim their winning tickets due to checking on the wrong dates.
Finally, you should also make copies of your lottery ticket’s front and back sides in case something happens to it in transit when cashing in by mail and even consider mailing them un using certified mail.
#9. Double Check Discarded Lottery Tickets
Although unlikely, you can still manage to win the second-chance draw with discarded lottery tickets since most people discard their tickets after losing.
It might get frustrating to double-check, but if you have the time, doing so might pay off at some point if luck is on your side. And since the lottery is a game of chances, why not try your luck with a discarded lottery ticket even if they offer smaller prizes?
Of course, this shouldn’t be your main strategy, but it can work pretty well as a side strategy, just to boost your odds of winning.
#10. Keep It Fun
As much as we all want to have the winning numbers and get the big prize, it is important to remember to keep things fun.
The odds of you actually winning are slim, so you are best served remembering it is just a game.
Don’t bank your future on winning the lottery. Be smart with your money so you can get ahead financially but leave some fun money left over to play the lottery.
Also know that while the money can change your life, it won’t guarantee happiness. There are many things money can’t buy in life.
We typically play the scratch-off game tickets around the holidays as they make great stocking stuffers.
Some years we win nothing. Other years we win $20. The point is, we keep it fun and don’t destroy our finances by trying to chance our lives playing the lottery.
#11. Take The Lump Sum If You Do Win
If you do win the lottery prize, you will have the option to take the lump sum or have an annual payment given to you in the form of an annuity.
Unless you are really bad with money and have no self-control, picking the lump sum option is usually the better choice. And if you are bad with money, you might still take the lump sum and put the money in a trust.
You can set it up to pay you an annual amount so you don’t spend all the money in the first year.
Here is how this typically would work. With an annuity, you would get one immediate payment now, and then then 29 equal payments once a year for 29 years.
With the lump sum, you would get the entire amount immediately.
No matter which option you choose, you have to take into account taxes. If you get paid the lump sum, you pay all the taxes now.
If you take the annuity, you pay takes each year you get the payment. If tax rates rise, you will be paying a larger percent of your winnings in taxes.
Why Do People Play The Lottery?
The reality is most people who play the lottery are poor people.
And according to this study, the reason for this is because poor people think winning the lottery is their best chance for improving their financial situation.
This is even though these same people know the odds of winning the random numbers is slim. But our human brains cannot calculate the odds.
Sure a 1 out of 1,000,000 chance sounds rare, but exactly how rare? As a result, people play the lottery.
What needs to happen is education. People need to be taught personal finance and how compound interest works, what a budget is, and how to have a positive mindset.
By giving people the tools and knowledge, they can see that it is possible with much better odds, to improve their financial situation through these means instead of lottery.
Lottery Statistics You Need To Know
Now that you know the best ways to win the lottery and why people continue to play the lottery, here are some sobering lottery statistics.
The goal is to help you see just how rare it is to not only win millions of dollars, but also keep it.
Odds of winning powerball jackpot: 1 in 292 million
Odds of winning mega millions jackpot: 1 in 302 million
Number of possible combinations of powerball tickets: 292,201,338
Money spent to buy every powerball ticket combination: $584,402,676
Percent of people in the US who play the lottery: 20%
Percent of lottery winners who go broke within 7 years: 70%
And here are some things that have better odds of happening to you than winning the lottery.
Odds of being crushed by a meteor: 1 in 700,000
Odds of becoming the next Warren Buffett: 1 in 785,000
Odds of dying in a plane crash: 1 in 11,000,000
Odds of being wrongly convicted of a crime: 1 in 3,703
Odds of losing an appendage in a chainsaw accident: 1 in 4,464
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.