Winning Lottery TipsLotto Winning Tips and Strategies

Many people have the view that to win the lottery, you need to have luck. However there are also those who believe there is more to this. We do too. Our research team has compiled the tools and information to help you get the most out of playing the lottery. Check out our winning lotto strategies below:

Lotto Strategy Considerations:

  1. Play less often, but buy more. You simply cover a greater spread of numbers with this approach.
  2. Play Lottos offering the best odds. Not all lotteries offer the same odds of winning the jackpot. For example, the odds of winning Italy’s SuperEna Max is 622,614,630 to 1. The US Powerball draw offers more favourable odds of 175,223,510 to 1. It gets even better with the UK lottery, offering odds of  13,983,816 to 1. Consider a draw that seems to offer you the most sensible deal. (see our Lotto Odds table showing jackpot odds of popular lottos around the world).
  3. Consider the lotto jackpot size. As lottos often have rollovers, you might want to consider comparing the jackpot size with the odds of winning that particular jackpot.
  4. Join a syndicate or lotto pool. Although any winnings will be less because you will be sharing it, your chances of winning are significantly increased. This is certainly attractive if you hold a winning combination of numbers for a jackpot prize.

Pick Winning Numbers:

  1. Don’t solely pick birthday numbers. No date contains a number greater than 31. Your chances of success are reduced as you exclude, for example, 18 numbers in a draw based on a 6/49 format.
  2. Respect the probability that any number can come up. Have a mix of odd and even numbers as it is highly rare to have a pure set of odd or even numbers that wins.
  3. Ensure your numbers add up to more than 177. According to a Swiss lottery study, your chances are improved as high numbers seem to be picked less often and hence there are fewer winners to share with.
  4. Play with same numbers often, every time. Regardless of the numbers picked, patience is a virtue.

Minimize Sharing the Jackpot:

  1. Don’t just pick numbers based on birthdays. Many people pick numbers based on birthdays. As no date contains a number greater than 31, make sure you select those higher numbers to diminish the odds of sharing a jackpot.
  2. Avoid pretty patterns of numbers. Many people pick their numbers based on an arrangement of numbers in vertical lines, shapes, clusters and so on. An example of this was 133 winners the winning combination of 7, 17, 23, 32, 38, 42, and 48 which all lay in the central columns of the ticket (Nov. 1995 National Lottery). Avoid arithmetic sequences as they also fall in this category.
  3. Avoid record-breaking jackpot draws. Sure the allure of winning one of these is great, but as a jackpot reaches record breaking proportions, media will drive more ticket purchases as more people will play and people will buy more tickets. Of course if a mega jackpot exists, who is not tempted to just try his/her luck?
  4. Avoid “lucky” numbers. Many people like playing the numbers 7 and 11. Surprisingly, the number 13 is also popular.

Consider Tax Implications

  1. Save lotto tickets purchased. Did you know that in the US, gambling winnings are taxable? This may also hold true in the country where you are a tax citizen. Purchased lotto tickets can be deducted against any lotto jackpot wins.
  2. Consider taking winnings as an annuity or lump sum. There are many considerations when having to choose one or the other.
    • The biggest factor is the impact of federal taxes, if applicable (prize money in Europe is tax free as compared to US lotteries where taxes are applied). Assuming you won a significant jackpot prize, you will likely be in the maximum tax bracket no matter if you take a lump sum payout or an annuity over 30 years. As tax rates are always changing, consider:
      • If tax rates increase over time, people should take the lump sum payment.
      • If tax rates decrease over time, or a flat tax rate is adopted, an annuity would be preferable.
      • If tax rates remain the same over a long period of time, there isn’t much difference in the effective tax rate to be paid.

Win More Money

  • Consider playing lotteries from other countries. Lotteries are popular all over the world. As such, they can potentially offer a larger jackpot and/or better odds as compared to the ones you usually play.
    • Everyone has heard of Mega Millions and Powerball in the US; however you should also consider one of the many lotteries worldwide offering large, progressive jackpots. Have confidence playing lotteries including Euro Millions, UK Lottery, Oz Powerball, Brazil’s Mega Sena, Italy’s SuperEna Max and more!
    • Unlike the US , the prize money in Europe is tax-free and paid out as a lump sum rather than in annuity payments. This means that although jackpots overseas might be smaller than the US lotteries, they might be worth more money after taking inflation and taxes into consideration.
  • Consider taking winnings as an annuity or lump sum. In addition to considering the impact of taxes, you should also factor in expected returns from investments. Taking a lump sum payout and re-investing it to generate between 3%-4% annual returns will make you more money than re-investing the post-tax winnings you receive each year. The chart below developed by Walter Hickey of Business Insider depicts this.

Annuity vs. lump sum lottery winnings

Improve your Odds of Winning

Not only is it recommended to review various lotto odds, you can significantly improve your odds of winning a prize by placing a BET on numbers coming up in specific lotto draws, known as lottery betting.

How many times have you played the lottery where you were not able to match a winning combination but were able to match just ONE SINGLE NUMBER? With bookmakers, you can increase your odds of winning a prize by placing a bet on any number of balls to come up. For example, correctly predict ONE number in a 6/49 lotto (e.g. Canada’s Lotto 6/49 or the Irish Lotto) for 6-to-1 odds. Correctly match 5 numbers gets you 100000-to-1! We will describe more about lottery betting, including odds, game variants, and reputable bookmakers providing this service in a future article. But if you want to try it now, check out our reputable partner who will give you a free matching bet of up to £25.


Good luck when you play (or bet on) the Lottery!

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