How to Win the Lottery

Learning how to win the lottery is not as easy as it might sound. That's because there are no surefire steps that can help you win. You either have the correct numbers on your ticket, or you don't.

What About Strategy?
You've probably seen those books, software programs and Web sites that offer lotto strategies that will dramatically boost your chances of winning. If any of them actually worked, America would be knee-deep in multimillionaires, the states would be bankrupt and the lottery would be a thing of the past.

While you might painstakingly choose your numbers, another person might simply let the machine pick their numbers for them. Regardless of how the numbers are picked, regardless of how much sweat and tears goes into the choosing, several people may end up with the same winning numbers or the very same losing numbers. That can happen because the numbers are drawn randomly. Nobody knows what the numbers will be until the machine picks them. In the aftermath of a 1980 conspiracy in Pennsylvania, where weighted balls were used to influence the outcome of a single drawing, states have gone to great lengths to ensure that each drawing is truly random.

Playing the Lottery
Lottery games of chance, such as Powerball,  involve choosing a handful of numbers from a specific set of numbers. There is sometimes a second portion of the ticket where you also choose one number from a different set of numbers. Because the game is divided into two sections and both areas of the ticket must have the correct number(s) marked in order for you to win, your chances of winning are very slim.

Each person who purchases one ticket for the Mega Millions receives the following odds: 1 in about 135,145,920. If you purchase more tickets, your odds will go up by the number of tickets you purchase. But because it's still a game of chance, purchasing more tickets doesn't mean you would automatically win the jackpot or even one of the smaller prizes.

Getting the correct combination of numbers on your ticket, as well as the correct Mega Ball number, are astronomical. Even getting one of the numbers correct can be hard to do. This is one of the reasons jackpots can grow into the hundreds of millions, even though millions of people play the game each week.

Soothsayers and Lottery Numbers
It stands to reason that if a person actually knew how to pick the winning numbers for a specific lottery, he would pick the numbers and walk away with the prize rather than teach someone else how to do it. Soothsayers have actually tapped in to the one reliable way to make money on the lottery: writing books about it.

That is not to say there is no magic in the lotto. The magic lies in being lucky enough to be the one whose numbers are drawn. If you'd like to learn how to win the lottery, all you need to do is to purchase a ticket and play the game. While there is not necessarily a winner for each drawing, eventually someone has to win. Because it's a game of chance, the winner could be you.

Simple Lotto Facts

  • If you want to win the game, you have to play the game.
  • Regardless of your status in life or what numbers you play, your chances of winning the lotto are the same as everyone else who purchases the same amount of tickets for the same game.
  • Playing the same numbers in every drawing gives you a tiny statistical edge in the odds.
  • There is no such thing as a winning strategy or surefire bet. Lottery numbers are randomly generated.
  • Games with larger jackpots usually have you select from a larger set of numbers, which lowers your odds of winning.
  • If you play, remember to check your ticket. Many winners have forfeited their prizes because they lost their winning ticket or simply forgot to check it.
  • Check your ticket against the winning numbers yourself. Do not rely on the lottery agent to do this for you. Some unscrupulous agents have been caught stealing winning tickets from players.
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