You have a one in 300 million chance of winning the jackpot and while hitting the lottery may sound impossible, a mathematician shares how it is doable.
Speaking to WIRED, Ryan (Skip) Garibaldi said picking unpopular numbers, buying tickets from states that sell the least and choosing the right scratch-offs increases the odds.
The expert revealed one dire mistake that may keep you from making millions – picking dates to play, which is what most people do.
‘Other advice might be, if you look at the ticket where you pick your numbers, don’t just pick a column of numbers on that ticket, for example, because some people will do that,’ Garibaldi told WIRED.
Your ‘lucky numbers’ may be bringing you bad luck in the lottery – an expert says playing dates is a huge mistake
Americans spend nearly $100 billion on state lotteries annually, hoping to hit a life-changing sum but typically walking away empty-handed.
The largest national Powerball was in 2016 when the pot reached a whopping $1.586 billion divided between three tickets from California, Florida and Tennessee.
But as people head to buy their tickets each week, Garibaldi has shared some knowledge on what to do and not do.
He told WIRED that picking sequential numbers could be a good move, as it helped Richard Lustig win four times in the local Florida lottery for $1,038,499.92.
Lusting, who passed in 2018, previously said he reinvested winnings into buying more lottery tickets, used hand-picked sequential numbers and used the same numbers constantly.
‘Now, this won’t increase your odds of winning,’ said Garibaldi, the director of the Center of Communications Research in La Jolla, California.
‘That kind of thing is gonna give you the same chance of winning the jackpot as any other method of choosing.
‘However, if you look at a ticket like that, it looks weird. So many sequential numbers help you not share the jackpot, which is good.’
Another tip when playing the local lottery is to purchase in states that sell the fewest tickets.
Speaking to WIRED , Ryan (Skip) Garibaldi said picking unpopular numbers, buying tickets from states that sell the least and choosing the right scratch-offs increases the odds
A study by LendingTree shows Massachusetts residents spent the most per capita on lottery tickets and scratch-offs in 2020.
‘Residents spent $805.30 per capita in 2020 — the latest available data — dwarfing fellow Northeastern states New York ($455.93) and Rhode Island ($429.88),’ the study reads.
And Georgia ($429.51) and Michigan ($408.51) followed.
On the lower end is North Dakota ($29.93), Wyoming ($39.08), Montana ($55.21), New Mexico ($60.00) and Oklahoma ($67.67).
Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah are the only states not participating in the lottery.
‘There’s a classic example of Oregon in 1999,’ Garibaldi said.
‘They had an $18,000,000 jackpot, and yet, they didn’t sell that many tickets, and what that means is when you buy a ticket in such a drawing, you’re unlikely to share the jackpot.’
Richard Lustig won four times in the local Florida lottery for $1,038,499.92. He used hand-picked sequential numbers and used the same numbers constantly
The mathematician also provided tips on how to win big on scratch-offs, which includes using the internet to your advantage.
He recommends checking sites like scratchoff-odds.com, allowing you to see specific tickets in your state and prizes that have yet to be claimed.
But if you need to win the lottery, Garibaldi suggests choosing a game that lets you guess a four-digit number and bet the six-way box.
‘That means you’re gonna bet on a four-digit number with repeated digits, like 1122, or 1212, and if you bet a six-way box, it bets all the six possible ways of writing a number with two ones in it and two twos in it,’ he said.
‘If you do that, your odds of winning are one in 1,667, and in most states, if you hit that, if you win that bet, you will get $800, which means you gotta go to a lottery office.
‘You probably will lose money, just so you know.’
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