Win the LotteryEveryone has dreamt about what they would do with the money if they won the lottery. With lottery numbers reaching record highs, it is a popular topic. However, is there really a “smart” way to play the Power Ball? Is it just a waste of money? Should you be picking your own numbers or let the computer pick them?  There is a “science” to winning the Power Ball. Here’s a few tips.

You Have to Play to Win, But…

Obviously, you can’t win the Power Ball without playing, however, spending money on it every week (many people do) isn’t always the best way to raise your chances at winning. The chance of hitting the lottery is low, but as the jackpot grows larger, more people play, and there is higher chance of a winner being declared.

Let the Computer Pick the Numbers

Many people like to play “special” numbers like birthdays, anniversaries and even lucky numbers. However, this isn’t always helpful. Most jackpot winners (70 percent of winners) have allowed the computer to pick their numbers for them. Does this mean you’re more likely to win with automated numbers? Possibly. There is a loophole though.

If you play the lottery regularly and have set numbers that you usually play, stick to those set of numbers. However, if you play those numbers all the time, you should stick to the same numbers (in the same combination). Doing this heightens your chance of winning. “Never ever, ever change those numbers,” said Richard Lustig, a lottery expert. Lustig has won seven lottery grand prizes in his lifetime, so you could say he has a few theories where the lottery is concerned.

When it comes to people who only play the lottery every once and a while (when the jackpot is large), there is less of a science to it. Lustig simply said, “Buy as many tickets as you can afford.”

Is There a Science to ‘Luck?’

If you pick your own numbers, you may want to include the numbers 8, 54, 14, 39 and 13. Past winning Power Ball tickets have included these numbers pretty frequently. There also seems to be lucky places to buy the tickets. Sixteen of the previous winners bought their tickets in Pennsylvania.

The odds of winning, of course, are slim either way. Those who buy a ticket have a 1 in 292,201,338 shot of winning the grand prize. Your chances of winning a seven-figure (a million or more) payout are a little bit better: 1 in 11,688,053.

Is it Worth It?

The question as to whether the Power Ball is worth it or not is really dependent on a few factors. Do you have “extra money” to play? Would that money be better off spent elsewhere? Is gambling something you do for fun (the Power Ball once a week is how any people get their gambling fix)? Are you going into debt (or going broke) playing the lottery? Your answers to these questions can determine whether you should play or not.

In fact, not everyone who lives the lottery lives happily ever after.  In fact, The Atlantic has a collection of stories of people who became miserable after they won the lottery. 

Either way, everyone can still dream of what they would do if they won the big money. Even though the chances aren’t very high, and sometimes it is a complete waste of time (and money), the Power Ball can be exciting. Just think – what would you do with the winnings?

Amanda Blankenship
Amanda Blankenship

Amanda is a full-time website manager and blogger. She is currently hacking her debt by saving money and investing, all while trying to kickstart a family and enjoy her adult life. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, entertaining (throwing parties), reading, doing puzzles and kayaking.