If you haven’t read the news across almost every website in the world, the Powerball and Mega Millions Jackpot is kind of insanely high (again) right now. Currently as of 10/20/18 the Mega Millions jackpot prize is $1.6 billion and the Powerball is $470 million. Now, let’s be serious, you have a better chance of getting abducted by aliens or getting struck by lightening. However, a lottery ticket is all about the dream and escapism of “what would I do” for the days after you bought the ticket. So, imagine if you had a cool trick that you used to win the Powerball jackpot (or Mega Millions jackpot) in your dream of winning? Let’s dig into a few “ideas” that can help you win the Powerball jackpot or at least the smaller prizes.
Mega Millions Note: This post is based on Powerball numbers and odds, however Mega Millions is essentially very close to Powerball odds and numbers. Just keep in mind it’s slightly different than Powerball. Good luck to you!
The easiest way to win: buy all the possible numbers
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338 and if you really, truly wanted to win the entire jackpot, guaranteed you’d need to buy that many tickets with different numbers. That is a cool $584,402,676. Not exactly pocket change unless you can convince a billionaire to front you money and you promise to pay them back part of the cash value. An easy win right? When you consider the army of people you’d have to hire to get all these tickets, maybe it’s not so easy money.
Only play over $292.2 million as the jackpot payout
In the case of the Powerball, you should play when the payout increases over the odds of the jackpot payout. That number would be over $292.2 million with the new Powerball rules this year. The new Powerball rules actually made it even harder to win from the old odds which were 1 in 146,107,963 for the previous Powerball rules. Why play when it is over the current jackpot odds? The idea is that your chances haven’t increased at all but it makes playing worthwhile because of a larger pot, similar to playing through a large pot during a poker game.
The Settlers of Catan hot number theory
If you ever played the popular board game Settlers of Catan, you’ll notice that some numbers get rolled all the time. The instructions of the game even come with dots by the number to show how often they get rolled. So the number 7 has the highest odds (16.7% of the time it will get rolled) according to Stanford graduate Nick Parlante’s analysis. The 6 and 8 will get rolled 13.9% of the time and it goes down from there. Let’s call those with high odds “hot” numbers and the numbers with the lowest odds, that being 2 and 12 with a 2.8% chance of getting rolled, are the “cold” numbers. I am no means an expert but applying this “hot” number idea to the Powerball by studying the most common and least common numbers could increase your odds. Maybe.
Let the computer pick
About 70% of the previous Powerball winners used “Quick Picks” which is letting the computer choose the numbers for you. This method also increases the likelihood that you won’t have the same number as someone else when you win the jackpot. If you don’t trust the computer, just be sure to at least pick random numbers without any meaning to you. Why? Read on…
Do not use dates
Any number 31 or lower are very commonly picked and if you want to follow basic statistical principles, splitting the prize is not something you want to be doing, so keep your picks 32 or above. No birthdays, anniversaries or prison release dates. Use no dates!
Do not use well-known numbers
October 2005 was an interesting year, it seems thousands of folks picked the numbers from the popular TV show “Lost”. If everyone had won the prize would have had to been split thousands of ways, which is against the basic idea of winning here, so avoid any well known numbers, numbers you see in the news and keep the numbers truly random with “Quick Pick” or choosing random numbers yourself.
Educate yourself on Lottery Wheeling?
Popularized in the 1970s when groups of folks would invest money together to buy tickets together in an attempt to win more. This tactic is expensive and doesn’t exactly increase per-ticket chances of winning. Wheeling systems promise to offer a minimum amount of winning, typically not jackpot prizes but the smaller prizes like getting the Powerball correctly for $4 in return. This tactic amplifies the main “wheel” numbers you pick at the beginning of a wheel, if you win, but again if you lose, you just lose. I won’t get into the tactic itself too much, but you can learn more from Wikipedia here. You need to buy about 100 or so tickets to make this tactic win on a small scale, in terms of winning a jackpot prize wheeling is not the best tactic. It is also better to spend as little as possible to win instead of spending $200+ on a wheel system. That leads us to the last tip to help you win the jackpot prize…
Only buy one ticket
Odds increase of winning by about 0.000034% if you buy 10,000 tickets, getting extra tickets will not make much of a difference for your odds of winning. So just keep it to one ticket. As Eminem said “you only get one shot” so why not do something else like pay rent or get drunk with the other tickets you were going to spend your hard earned cash on? Just get one and move on.