I recently had this Q & A.
It’s been some time since I blogged and I’ve been doing some deep thinking about my role in encouraging lottery play at www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com. Is it ethical to encourage people to throw money away on a gamble where the odds are outrageously high and outrageously poor value? Is it ethical to encourage a mindset of trying to win money by gambling rather than earn money by working hard and smart?
I sleep at night because what we are doing at www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com is providing scientific advice on how best to play lotteries. We strive to encourage minimal investment in lottery tickets. Most subscribers to our website learn to spend much less on lottery tickets and earn back their $9.95 quickly. We also ensure that they get the best possible value for their lottery investment.
With regard to the ethics of encouraging gambling, I have been a lifelong gambler who recognises that the odds are stacked against me. If the odds are against you, you are almost certainly bound to lose. The odds of winning the lottery are so hopelessly stacked against you that failure is almost inevitable. The purpose of gambling is to gain pleasure. It is wrong to expect to win and you should expect to lose. If you understand this and in so doing realise that you should not risk money that you cannot afford to lose, then it seems to me that gambling is harmless. There is much pleasure to be gained from trying to handicap horses or to be a good card player. Enjoy the struggle but don’t give up the day job.
The special feature of playing lotteries is that the prizes are of life-changing size. Buying the hope of achieving this at a small price is good value. Just limit your lottery spend to as low a level as possible. Learn how to do it at www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com.
I recently received this question:
“I want to win the rolling cash jackpot. I won the $300 prize in rolling cash 3 times…..I had a good method playing 10 auto picks at the last minute. It used to work but I guess they caught on to my method! I also used to use that same system for pick 3 and pick 4 but it all stopped all of a sudden. I hope your system is powerful enough to break through the stubborn system of the ohio lottery. My biggest challange is to win the rolling cash 5. I already came so close to all 5 numbers. I’ll worry about the mega millions after I win the rolling 5. The odds in the mega are too high. I’ll take the $100+grand leaving me with $70000 after uncle sams cut. email me back and tell me if you can help me and do I have to pay out alot of money to try to win………………..”
My answer was:
You may have been on to something by buying 10 auto picks at the last minute but personally I doubt it. The more likely explanation is that you were rather lucky to win three $300 prizes.
The problem with all lotteries is that they return only about 50% of the money paid in. If you buy 10 tickets per day in the Ohio Rolling Cash lottery, the odds say that you will on average get 4 numbers up every 338 days, 3 numbers every 10 days and 2 numbers up on average once per day. The chances are that you will win the jackpot once every 158 years!!!
This means that unless the unlikely event of a jackpot win comes up, you will in an average year spend $3640 and your returns will be approximately $1000. You would in fact be spending $2640 per year to give you a chance of winning $100,000 at odds of 157 to 1 against. Not a great bet.
My own personal strategy is to spend very little indeed on the lottery and invest the remainder in the stock market. You could buy one ticket per day and accumulate $3274 to save or buy mutual funds or individual stocks. This way there is a good chance of building $100,000 in a lifetime and there is still the chance, admittedly remote, of $100,000 windfall.
www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com gives you more advice on how to get the best value when playing the lottery.
These are the claims made by www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com and they are scientifically correct.
“Learn how best to play each of the lotteries by subscribing to www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com now. You will learn many ways to get top value for your lottery investment. You will be able to spot special opportunities as they arise. Your chances of winning bigger prizes will be dramatically increased. You will be able to save money by avoiding situations where your investment is poor value. Your new knowledge will increase your fun, tell you how to pick lottery numbers and give you a new insight into the lottery world.”
Worth a look
The good people of Arizona have few choices when it comes to winning $1 million plus lottery prizes. They can play the multi-state Powerball where the prizes are huge or they can play the AZ lottery “The Pick”
“The Pick” requires the player to select six numbers from the range 1-44. The odds against getting the jackpot are 7 million to 1. The jackpot starts at $1 million and increases by $100,000 each week it is not won. The rate of increase grows after 10 weeks.
Over the last 50 draws there have been 6 winners and the winning amounts have been:
The average of these wins is $2.23 million which compares very unfavorably with the odds against winning of 7 million to 1. It seems that the way rollovers are managed favors the State Lottery Board rather than the lottery players of Arizona. It can be argued that this way it benefits all Arizona residents rather than the lucky winners.
The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are 195 million to 1, 28 times greater than winning “The Pick” but Powerball jackpots are mostly even greater still. A simple rule of thumb could be to play Powrball rather than “The Pick” if the Powerball estimated jackpot has grown to 28 or more times “The Pick” jackpot.
The chances of winning either of thes lottery jackpots is remote and lotteries as a gambling proposition are universally poor value. The reason for playing should be a bit of fun with a glimmer of hope. If a prize of one or two millions is beyond your wildest dreams then playing “The Pick” makes some sense. If you need the hope of huge riches, then the Powerball is better for you. In any event, spend very little – in truth one ticket is enough.
Another point: choose numbers that minimize your chances of having to share your prize. You can learn a lot more about these topics at www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com.
I plan to do a series of blogs like this on all State lotteries.If you would like me to get to your state sooner rather than later, leave a message here or on www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com .
Yesterday 28 August 2009, two lucky winners shared a Megamillions jackpot of $333 million. This has the effect that the jackpot goes back to an estimated $12 million. Meanwhile, because of successive rollovers, the jackpot for the Texas Lotto has risen to $43 million.
The odds against winning Megamillions are 175 million to one; the odds against winning the Texas Lotto are 26 million to 1. This means that currently you are 7 times more likely to win $43 million playing the Texas Lotto than you are winning $12 million playing Megamillions. If you live in Texas, don’t waste money on Megamillions, instead spend the money on Texas Lotto.
Of course all this logic changes as soon as the Texas Lotto jackpot is won or Megamillions builds up to huge amounts again.
This year 2009 has seen some massive Powerball lottery prizes in excess of $200 million and now Megamillions is catching the eye with a mouth-watering potential jackpot of $325 million.
The odds against winning either of these lotteries are gigantic but the fact remains that eventually someone always wins the jackpot, even if it takes several weeks. There is nothing you can do to predict the winning numbers and on a strict staistical basis money you spend on any lottery is a bad bet. However you have to be “in it to win it” so I adopt the strategy of buying only one ticket. This gives me a glimmer of hope without the feeling that I am wasting money.
One other little tip: on some occasions State or National Lotto games can be a better bet than the Megamillions, Powerball or Euromillions lotteries. This occurs when the Lotto in question has several rollovers leading to a prize of say $25 million with odds against of 14 million to one, whereas the big lottery has just been won, the prize is down to $13 million and the odds remain an astronomical 100 million to one plus. In these circumstances it is better to buy a Lotto ticket rather than Megamillions, Powerball or Euromillions tickets.
Learn more about these strategies at www.HowToPickLotteryNumbers.com .
The odds against winning a big lottery prize vary from 5 million to one to as much as 195 million to one. This means that any ticket is very, very unlikely to win.
Why buy a ticket at all? Well, even though the odds against are enormous, you have a chance of winning whereas the person with no ticket at all has absolutely no chance. Buying one ticket gives you the chance of a life-changing win. You are buying a glimmer of hope that this will occur.
Buying more than one ticket is not a good strategy. Lotteries return about 50% of the money invested so taken in total, lottery players receive a very poor deal. Would you put money in a bank that pays -50% interest?
You could possibly justify buying more than one ticket if the fun you get from checking the numbers is worth the price of a ticket. If this is the case, you should seriously look for more satisfying ways of wasting your money.
I am pleased to report that another article, “Lottery Myths Persist”, has been published as an Ezine Article. Click here to link to it.
I was berated this week by a subscriber to How To Pick Lottery Numbers because our system “does not reflect or show any thorough research results as to probabilities of certain numbers showing up based on previous results”.
The simple truth is that any system that claims a relationship between past numbers and future numbers would be bogus. Every draw is independent of anything that has gone before.
There is however a demonstrable relationship between the numbers drawn and the size of prizes won and we have used sophisticated statistical analysis to investigate this relationship. This means that it does matter how you pick lottery numbers. What you chose to do can have a dramatic effect on how much you win if you do win. Nobody can improve your chances of winning the lottery but we can definitely improve your chances of winning big prizes.