How to Win the Lottery

That little ticket may seem like a long shot, but simple statistics can help you maximize your chances of winning a small fortune.

You will need

  • A lottery ticket or scratch-off card
  • People to pool your resources with

Step 1 Mix up your numbers When you’re picking numbers, try to get a good mix of odds, evens, highs, and lows.

Step 2 Pool with others People who pool their money have a wider variety of number choices and can afford to buy more tickets. But before laying out any cash, the group should sign a mutually agreeable contract.

Step 3 Don't play consecutive numbers Don’t play consecutive combinations: It’s extremely unlikely that four or five numbers will hit.

Step 4 Vary your picks Don’t pick all of your numbers from the same number group, like the tens or thirties, and avoid selections that all end in the same digit.

Step 5 Play smaller games For contests where there is always a winner, increase your chances by playing unpopular games and times — like small payouts and on days like Friday the 13th.

Step 6 Consider scratch-offs Be smart about scratch-offs. They have better odds than the pick-a-number games, but the payouts are smaller.

Step 7 Go beyond the calendar People often play dates that are special to them, which means the numbers one through 31 get a real workout. It won’t help you win, but if you do, choosing numbers over 31 will help you win bigger, because fewer people will be sharing the jackpot.