Many people all over the US and beyond enjoy playing the lottery. The thrill of picking numbers or scratching cards adds extra spice to many people’s lives. Evidently, all players want to boost their chances of winning. A professional mathematician spoke with WIRED on that matter.
Skip Garibaldi explained that in lottery, players can adopt a variety of strategies to boost their chances of winning the jackpot. He emphasized that no strategy guarantees a win but there are certain ways to make a sweet victory more likely.
For example, Garibaldi advised players to avoid certain numbers when playing number-picking games such as Mega Millions or Powerball. While all numbers have equal chances of winning, some numbers tend to be picked a lot more often, which means that players might have to share the jackpot.
Picking what Garibaldi called “unpopular numbers” includes avoiding picking birthday dates and choosing sequences that no one else would choose. For example, selecting a sequence of numbers is something that few people do and that makes it extremely unlikely to share a prize.
Quantity Increases Your Chances
While Powerball and Mega Millions sell millions of tickets, some games sell a lot fewer. State lotteries, for example, have smaller prizes but also a smaller number of total tickets. This makes it easier to buy a lot of tickets to significantly increase your chances of winning.
While regulations will prevent clerks from selling hundreds of tickets to a single person, a dedicated team of people can easily buy many tickets to boost their chances. However, such people must beware that they always risk sharing the jackpot with another person.
In addition, Garibaldi pointed out that playing in a region where fewer people buy tickets makes it more unlikely to share a prize.
Scratch games are always designed in such a way that companies would earn more money than a jackpot winner would. Such games are usually not designed to benefit the average player. However, sometimes the first wave of sales doesn’t sell a winning ticket.
Since scratch games always have a winning ticket, it is easier to win the jackpot from a game that has not sold the big prizes early on. People in the United States can use online resources to see which states have games that are yet to sell their big prizes.
One of Garibaldi’s last pieces of advice was finding a game where players have to select a four-digit number in a six way box. This, he explained, provides players with a 1/1667 chance to win, which is extremely high by the lottery standards. A winning bet of this type usually would yield players $800.
You’ll probably lose money, just so you know. It is not a recipe for making money, but it is a recipe for getting to that lottery office with the least amount of effort.
Garibaldi concluded that the lottery is still gambling and that players should play for the fun of it. He admitted to buying tickets himself just because he likes to imagine a situation in which he does win the jackpot.