# 3 things you need to know about lottery strategy!

Playing the lottery can be exhilarating and incredibly fun, and for the fortunate few who land the jackpot — life changing. The guys at Lucky Nugget Casino have come together and found 5 tips to improve your chances of landing the big money. Read below for more information.

### 1. Play when the jackpot hits the big money

Now, we understand that lottery jackpots are generally good value for money. We’re talking millions of dollars to be won in one go, which is, admittedly, life-changing. Unfortunately, while one week’s lottery jackpot might well be into millions, unless the expected value is positive, the lottery is generally not worth playing. As such, it’s generally worth waiting a few weeks time for this to rise. Of course, this comes with the risk of the jackpot being won before you get involved, but honestly, the odds are in your favour.

Before we go any further though, we better take you through expected value. Basically, to find this value, we take all the possible outcomes of the process, multiply each outcome by its probability and add them all up. This provides us with a long-run average for the random process that is lottery. This figure is ideal for assessing the outcomes of gambling processes. If the expected value is negative then the game will lose players money in the long run. If it’s positive though, over a period of time the return will net money for whoever is playing.

Take the Powerball for example. Let’s take a look at the odds first of all, with probability in brackets:

5 white and red: 1 in 292,201,338 (0.00000000034)
5 white: 1 in 11,688,053.52 (0.00000000856)
4 white and red: 1 in 913,129.18 (0.00000010951)
4 white: 1 in 36,525.17 (0.00002733784)
3 white and red: 14,494,11 (0.0000689935)
3 white: 1 in 579.76 (0.0017248517)
2 white and red: 1 in 701.33 (0.0014258623)
1 white and red: 1 in 91.98 (0.0108719287)
Red alone: 1 in 38.32 (0.0260960334)
Nothing: 1 in 1.04 (0.9597837679)

Then we take a look at the prizes, minus the cost:

5 white and red: \$224,999,998
5 white: \$499,998
4 white and red: \$24,998
4 white: \$48
3 white and red: \$48
3 white: \$1.50
2 white and red: \$1.50
1 white and red: \$0
Red alone: \$0
Nothing: -\$2

Then we multiply the prize – cost with the probability to generate the expected value (bear in mind these figures were generated taking into account the tax annuity):

5 white and red: \$0.77
5 white: \$0.04
4 white and red: \$0.03
4 white: \$0.00
3 white and red: \$0.00
3 white: \$0.00
2 white and red: \$0.00
1 white and red: \$0.00
Red alone: \$0.00
Nothing: -\$1.92

And so, the total expected value is -\$1.07. Which means the powerball, with a jackpot of £225,000,000, should be avoided.

On the other hand, when we increase the powerball jackpot to \$1.6 billion, this figure becomes a lot more reasonable.

5 white and red: \$5.44
5 white: \$0.04
4 white and red: \$0.03
4 white: \$0.00
3 white and red: \$0.00
3 white: \$0.00
2 white and red: \$0.00
1 white and red: \$0.00
Red alone: \$0.00
Nothing: -\$1.92

Total: \$3.59

So, in the event that the largest powerball jackpot occurs again, playing the lottery is especially advantageous. The above doesn’t take into account the tax annuity or lump sum payouts, which are obviously less. It’s safe to say that your expected return will be much higher than -\$1.07.

### 2. Don’t pick your numbers!

People become attached to the same lottery numbers. Whether they’re the birthdays of friends and family members, or previous house numbers you’ve held, some stick to their numbers religiously. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very good idea, and the reason is pretty simple. The fear of your numbers coming up is what drives you to play. Say if you’ve stood by the same numbers for the last five years and never won a thing, but one week decide to bin them off only for all six to come up — you’d never feel the same again. To avoid this potential dismay you insist on playing your precious numbers week in, week out. So, to combat this, take a lucky dip, or your country’s equivalent. This way, if you forget to play, you won’t feel bad.

### Make sure to pick numbers above 31

Following on from the last point, by picking numbers above 31 you avoid the birthday swarm, which is the large group of lottery players who swear by picking their family and friend’s birthdays. Since these numbers are essentially ‘picked out’, you stand a greater chance of sharing the jackpot with other people if you pick below 31. By choosing numbers above this cut off point the likelihood of you landing the jackpot with someone else is severely reduced. So, to improve your odds, choose above 31.

And that’s pretty much the best start you’ll have to lottery strategy. If you liked this article, make sure to check out the rest of our articles, and drop us a comment if you’ve got anything to add!