Before playing the lottery, what you should really be doing is looking at the odds of each game. All lotteries post their game odds, either at the retailer or online. I suggest going to the lottery website and analyzing the odds. For simplicity’s sake, you should always choose to play games that have odds of, generally, 1-in-15-million or better. That would be decent enough to give you a shot at winning.
Now, when you find a game with decent odds, take a look at the jackpot prize. Is it big enough to change your life? If you win it, will you be able to quit your job, buy the latest toys, spend more time with friends and family, go traveling, or do whatever it is you want to do? If so, that’s the game that you should always play.
I’ll give you an example of a good game to play – The Washington State Lotto game. The Washington State Lotto game is a 6/49 game, meaning that you have to match 6-out-of-49 balls to win the jackpot. The odds of a 6/49 game are actually 1-in-14-million. Another way to look at that is that there are 14 million unique combinations of numbers that could be drawn. But, for $1 you get two tickets for the Washington State Lotto game. Two tickets actually cuts the odds in half, to approximately 1-in-7-million.
Now, some people, no matter what, don’t believe that math. Some people will say, “No, if you get two tickets your odds would actually be 2-in-14-million.” Sure, that is also correct but so is 1-in-7-million; 2-out-of-14 is the same as 1-out-of-7. That’s elementary math.
Here’s another way to look at it – The odds of winning a 6/49 lottery game are 1-in-14-million. If seven million people each bought two unique tickets, that means that all of the 14 million combinations satta will have been played. That would also mean that one out of those seven million people would win the jackpot, 1-in-7-million.
By the same reasoning, you could calculate what your odds of winning for a particular game would be if you bought multiple tickets.
Here’s an example. New York Lottery has a game called Sweet Million that offers a $1 million jackpot. The odds of winning the $1 million jackpot in the Sweet Million game are 1-in-3,838,380. Let’s say, for example, that you buy ten Sweet Million tickets. How would you calculate your odds of winning? It’s actually really simple – 3,838,380 dived by 10. The answer is 1-in-383,838.
That’s a really big difference in odds, don’t you think? Again, some people just don’t believe that math. But again, it’s elementary. Let’s say 383,838 people each bought 10 Sweet Millions tickets and they all had unique numbers. That would mean that 383,838 times 10 tickets would be sold – 3,838,380 in total, the same as the odds of winning. That would mean that 1-out-of-those-383,838-people would win, 1-in-383,838.
You can use the same math to figure out the odds of winning any game with multiple ticket purchases. For example, if a game had odds of 1-in-20-million and you bought 21 tickets, your odds of winning would be 1-in-952,381 (20,000,000 divided by 21). Or if a game had odds of winning of 1-in-4.5-million and you bought 15 tickets, your odds of winning would be 1-in-300,000 (4,500,000 divided by 15)