New Jersey Woman is Speechless After Winning $2 Million Powerball

Jessica Macarone bought her Powerball ticket at a newsstand near her job on February 22nd and returned the very next day to check her numbers.

Once there, she discovered that she matched five numbers!  On top of that, her decision to purchase the $1 Power Play option doubled her winnings from $1 million to $2 million.

“You’re kidding me,” Macarone shouted when she realized she was a winner. Macarone said that she, like many of us, purchases a ticket whenever the Jackpot is big. Naturally, she was stunned to hear she that she had actually won.  She recalled, “you don’t think you’re going to win anything.”

Macarone informed reporters that the money came at a tough time for her, “this was a really rough year. I lost my dad and my uncle, and my mom is having a hard time.”

Although she has no immediate plans for her prize, the money couldn’t have come at a better time!  Congratulations Jessica.  We wish you all the best as a new millionaire!

*FreeLotto Pro Tip*

 Using a lottery strategy such as Hot and Cold numbers can increase your odds of winning the Powerball.  Check out our blog to learn more.

An Insane Amount of New Jersey Lottery Winners Fail to Claim their Lottery Prizes

The New Jersey Lottery pays out over $1.8 billion annually in lotto prizes, but a surprising $33.9 million worth of prizes go unclaimed each year.

No one is sure why so many New Jersey players fail to claim their prizes but a New Jersey spokeswoman assured that no one has failed to claim their Mega Millions or Powerball grand prizes.

All New Jersey winners have a year from the date of the drawing to claim their prizes.  When prizes go unclaimed, the money goes back to the public as additional prize offerings or for other causes and institutions that the lottery funds (i.e. schools, public works, homeless programs, etc.)

If you have played the lottery in New Jersey and suspect that you may have a winning ticket, follow this link to check your ticket.  You might be a prize-winner and may not even know it!

430 Million Powerball Winner Comes Forward

Pearlie Mae Smith, the 70-year-old mother of 7 adult children, was the lucky winner of the $429.6 Million Powerball ticket. Smith purchased the winning ticket at her local 7-Eleven in Trenton after dreaming about the winning numbers.  You read that right – no special birthdays or anniversary dates! Smith said the numbers came to her in a dream! She also acknowledged that raising 7 children wasn’t easy and feels fortunate to be the winner. Smith plans to split the money with all of her children.

Valerie Arthur, Smith’s oldest daughter, says the win came as a big shock and that many of her siblings have yet to notify their employers.  Arthur also noted that some of her siblings plan to continue working.

Another of Smith’s children, Cathy Smith, definitely plans to keep working.  She has run a mentoring program for young women for 15 years despite the fact that funding has been difficult. Now she intends on using the lottery money to continue changing the lives of young women.

The 7 Winners include: Steven Smith, Jacqueline Sessoms, Marsha-Ann Smith, Rene Smith, all of Trenton, and Tracy Smith and Katherine Nunnally, both of Newark.

Pearlie Mae’s $6 purchase turned her into millionaire! She bought a $2 ticket on both the May 4 and 7 drawings and spent an extra $1 each time to get the “Power Play” option that multiplies the winnings.

She chose the same numbers for each drawing: 5-25-26-44-66 and the Powerball number, 9.

Smith opted to take her winnings out as a lump sum of $284 million which will amount to $204,480,000 after taxes.

Congratulations to the Smith Family.  We wish them all the best with their new fortune!

Jackpot Winner

$430 Million Powerball Ticket Sold in Trenton, New Jersey

The winning $430 Million Powerball ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Trenton, New Jersey!  Though the lucky person hasn’t come forward yet, the owner of the 7-Eleven, Andrea Shin, suspects that the winner might be one of their regular customers.

The winner is said to have picked his or her own numbers and bought the ticket in advance, buying chances in both the Wednesday and Saturday night drawings.

The winner also elected to take the $284 million lump-sum prize when they bought the ticket, rather than collecting the entire $430 million over the next 29 years.

It is one of the largest-single-winning tickets ever awarded by a U.S. lottery – most big jackpots are split between multiple-winning tickets.

Shin says she regrets not playing the lottery this time around but is excited that someone from her convenience store has won.  The store will receive a $30,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, which Shin plans to spend on a vacation with her husband.

The owner of the ticket has one year to come forward, but we hope they claim their prize much sooner!


Two $1 million scratch-off lottery winners at Jersey City store

The Luckiest Convenience Store in Jersey City has a New $100,000 Scratch-off Winner

A convenience store in Jersey City may be the luckiest shop in town!  To date the store has had 7 big winners.  In the past 2 years, M-S Grocery Inc. Convenience store has had two $1 Million “scratch-off” winners and a $100,000 scratch-off winner this April.

Osama Swati, an employee at the 733 Montgomery Street store, says they have always had big winners since his father Mohammad Khan opened the store in 1988.

This month’s $100,000 winner purchased 2 tickets for the “100x The Cash” scratch-off.  The winner, also a regular customer, notified M-S Grocery of the big win the very next day.  He said he was so excited about his win that he couldn’t sleep.

The lucky shop is very popular!  Although there was an increase in ticket sales after the $100,000 winner, Swati confirmed that the store is always crowded by hopeful players.  People do it before work and some rush over during lunch breaks. Swati marveled, “You can’t even step in the door, that’s how many people are coming to scratch.”

Swati adds that it’s a pleasure to have so many local winners because they’re all hard working individuals who deserve to win.

How to win NJ Lottery

NJ Lottery Best Numbers To Play

Use past New Jersey Lottery winning numbers to help you win New Jersey-only games.

While the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots get all the attention because of the incredibly large payouts, lost in all the media hysteria are the state lottery games.

In New Jersey, for example, you can win millions playing New Jersey-only games like Pick-6 Lotto, Jersey Cash 5, Pick 3 and Pick 4.

Each game offers you the chance to win a range of cash prizes, and you can win decent amounts by matching just a few numbers.

If you play Jersey Cash 5, you can win a progressive jackpot with an estimated jackpot that starts at $75,000 and grows with each drawing until there’s a winner. You can also add Instant Match for a chance to win up to $500 instantly. Drawings are held daily, and the current jackpot is almost $500,000!

Pick-6 Lotto is another New Jersey-only jackpot game, but unlike Jersey Cash 5, the Pick-6 Lotto jackpot can reach higher than $5 million. To win, you have to match all 6 numbers with each number being between 1-49. However, you can also win cash prizes for matching only three numbers. Pick-6 drawings are held every Monday and Thursday at approximately 7:58pm

The key to winning cash for any lottery is of course picking the winning numbers. Many people use special dates, like birthdays and anniversaries, while others select the uniform numbers of their favorite sports figures. And many other lottery players go with their “gut” or numbers that just feel right.

What if you knew which numbers were most commonly drawn for your favorite games? Would that alter the numbers you’d pick?
If you play Powerball, would you change your picks if you knew that 32 and 41 have appeared 193 times, or just over 10% of the time, which makes them the most commonly drawn numbers in Powerball history? Or what about the fact that in order to win the big Powerball jackpot, you must also guess the “powerball” in addition to all five regular numbers, and the most commonly drawn powerball number is 20, which has appeared 63 times (or 3%).

Would knowing that kind of percentages change how you play the New Jersey Lottery games? If so, here are the numbers you need:

Jersey Cash 5

In the last 1000 draws, 36 is the luckiest number. It’s been drawn 137 times (13.7% of the time). The numbers 3 (13.3%) and 20 (13.3%) are the next two lucky numbers. Cold or unlucky numbers are 43 and 41. Both have been part of the winning combinations less than 8% of the time.

New Jersey Pick-6 Lotto

If you play the NJ Pick-6 Lotto, you select 6 numbers between 1-49. You can win something even if you only match 3 numbers ($3) – but, hey, that’s still better than losing. In the last 1000 draws, the winningest numbers rank as follows:

2 drawn 15.7%
3 drawn 14.8%
38 drawn 13.6%
12 drawn 13.5%
28 drawn 13.4%
11 drawn 13.4%
39 drawn 13.3%

The most unlucky numbers are:

22 drawn 9.5%
42 drawn 9.8%
34 drawn 10.1%

To conduct your own lucky and unlucky number analysis, visit or New Jersey Lottery page with all kinds of helpful tools to help you break down New Jersey Lottery results and determine how to win the New Jersey Lottery.

Play FreeLotto

If you like to play the New Jersey Lottery, you’ll also love playing FreeLotto.

FreeLotto is the largest free lottery-style sweepstakes in the world and offers 6 games you can play for free every day from any computer, which means you can play from home starting right now.

It’s just like playing state lottery games, and the odds for winning are similar.

Play today and you could win:

  • The $1 Million Daily Jackpot
  • A New Car
  • Pay Off Your Mortgage
  • Fast Cash ($10,000)
  • $100,000 GiveAway

And once you have played these games you will be eligible to play FreeLotto SuperBucks ($10,000,000.00 Prize).

Registration for these games only requires two things from you: Your name and address (so we know who to pay and where to send your check if you win), and your e-mail address so that we can contact you to confirm your entries.

5 Must-Read Strategies for Winning NJ Lottery Instant Games

How to use a spreadsheet to increase your odds of winning New Jersey scratch-off tickets

The New Jersey Lottery has offered scratch-off games, called “Instant Games”, with various price points, prizes, formats and themes since 1975.

You can currently choose to play from 62 different games and win up to $5 million if you match all the numbers on the $30 ticket, which happened to Lacey Katona who won the $5 million lottery prize in March, the largest prize offered on a New Jersey Lottery instant ticket.

Wouldn’t it be nice to win a cool $1 million? Of course even $100 would be nice.

Keep reading. This article will help you improve your odds – dramatically!

Think of it this way: The New Jersey Lottery – the draw game – is a game of pure chance.

You can’t do much to improve your odds of winning except buy more tickets.

However, NJ’s Instant Games are different. These games are not random.

That’s right: Lottery drawings are a game of chance because the numbers are drawn randomly – without a person getting involved. Instant tickets are not random because a lottery official must determine how many total tickets to print, how many will be winning tickets and for what amounts, and how the winning tickets are dispersed geographically. All of these decisions are carefully crafted to maximize excitement and to draw players in and keep them playing.

Even the number of winning tickets in a roll is often pre-determined to avoid long losing streaks.

The Instant tickets themselves are anything but random.

A conscious effort is made to produce “almost win” tickets where, for example, a card will have three out of four of the matching symbols needed, which will encourage players to purchase another card or come back sooner to play again.

In short, there is a formula to scratch-off games. The challenge is to figure it out.

January-coverA famous article in Wired Magazine details how Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, figured out one of the formulas.

“The tickets are clearly mass-produced, which means there must be some computer program that lays down the numbers,” Mr. Srivastava is quoted in Wired. “Of course, it would be really nice if the computer could just spit out random digits. But that’s not possible, since the lottery corporation needs to control the number of winning tickets [otherwise it could go bust]. The game can’t be truly random. Instead, it has to generate the illusion of randomness while actually being carefully determined.”

The article goes on to describe his approach. Although his particular method will no longer work on most (probably all) scratch-off tickets, the principle of “illusion of randomness” does still apply.

We can’t tell you the exact formula for your favorite scratch-off games, but we can offer strategies for dramatically improving your odds for winning money when playing instant cash games.

New Jersey Instant Games best strategies

If you really want to win more when playing instant lottery scratch-off games, start with the following:

1. Buy all your scratch-off tickets from the same roll at the same time.
lottery-tickets-rollYou can assume there are at least a few winners in every roll of tickets. Every time you get a losing ticket, you reduce your chances of losing by one ticket.

Do not buy different games. If you buy a new ticket from a different roll, the pool of losing tickets is much larger and your chances of getting a winning ticket goes down.

2. Don’t play everyday. Rather buy in bulk.
Building on tip #1, the odds are better if instead of buying one ticket every day for a week, you spend the same amount and buy 7 tickets at one time. Better yet, purchase your monthly allotment of scratch offs during on visit. Buying 30 tickets at once is much better than buying one a day.

3. Let others buy the losing tickets.
If you’re able to and have the time, hang around and watch others play. If you see a prolonged losing streak from a specific roll, your chances of getting a winning ticket increase because scratch-off tickets are sold with a guaranteed number of winners and losers in each pack.

You could also make friends with the cashier who could keep track for you.

4. Have the retailer’s computer check your losing tickets.
This isn’t about improving your odds necessarily, except that after scratching off 10, 15, or 20 tickets, it’s easy to miss matching symbols or numbers.

Now the really big one:

5. Strategically plan your play using math and a spreadsheet

Most scratch-off games publish on their websites the odds for each instant cash game. Many will often post prizes that have already been won for each game.

If you do nothing else, at least be sure to check the appropriate website to see which games still have top prizes available.

freelotto-spreadsheetNow to really improve your odds, let’s do a little math (there’s a spreadsheet at the end to make it easy).

We start with a simple concept: When tickets are sold and prizes won, the odds of winning change.

For example, if a game has sold many tickets, all or nearly all the top prizes could have already been won, so the odds of you winning that $1 million went from very small to virtually zero to perhaps zero if all the top prizes have been claimed.

However, sometimes the odds swing in your favor.

Again, simplifying the math for the example, let’s say 50% of the tickets have been sold but only 25% of the prizes have been claimed. Naturally, your odds of winning have gone up, or swung in your favor, by 50%. This would be a game you should play.

In reality, the odds never swing this much. In fact, most of the time, the odds vary only slightly. But a slight move in your direction can help and a few times, you’ll find significant swings that can make a worthwhile difference.

We’ve created a spreadsheet you can use to do the math for you. All you need to do is check the game’s website and fill in the numbers.

Here’s how the spreadsheet works for a single game:

To follow along, you may first want to view the spreadsheet at the end of this article.

We used the NJ Lottery $5,000,000 CASH EXTRAVAGANZA game as an example.

You can find the numbers for the game here:
$5,000,000 CASH EXTRAVAGANZA Rules and Odds

In column A, we filled in the available prizes.

In column C, we filled in total available prizes.

Since the New Jersey Lottery provides the number of printed tickets (8.64 million), we can plug in that number for all of column D.

For some scratch-off games, this number isn’t give, so the column can be set to automatically calculates the estimated number of tickets available. The formula to estimate number of tickets available is:

Odds X Available Prizes = Printed Tickets

Column B, will automatically filled in the odds based on columns C and D:

Odds = Printed Tickets / Available Prizes

Column E automatically calculates your chances of winning. Your chances of winning $5 million is .000035%. Your chances of winning $50 is 7.5%.

In column G we filled in the available prizes as published on the website.

Column F, automatically calculates the number of claimed prizes.

Now the spreadsheet needs to make some estimates based on the limited information available. In this case, it looks like about 50% of the prizes have been claimed for all three top prizes. Therefore, we can estimate 50% for the remaining prizes.

Column H is an important column. It estimates how many tickets have been sold. This is a number not provided by the website, but it’s critical in determining how the odds have changed. To generate a reasonable estimate, the spreadsheet uses the estimated tickets sold of the lowest prize amount because this gives us the largest sample size and will be more accurate than the numbers with fewer prizes.

Column I automatically takes the estimated tickets sold and subtracts from total tickets printed to get the estimated remaining tickets.

Column J automatically adjusts the odds based on the new numbers.

Column K automatically adjusts your chances of winning based on the new numbers.

Column L provides your answer. It automatically determines how much your chances of winning have changed. Sometimes in your favor, represented by a green bold number, and sometimes against you, represented by a red number.

What does all this mean?

Since the NJ Lottery only provides data for the top prizes, we can’t use the spreadsheet to its full capability. But we can see that the odds for the 2 top prizes have moved slightly in your favor. So if you were going to play this scratch-off game, now is the time to play it.

But don’t stop with just this game. Use this spreadsheet to compare games. Is the New Jersey lottery $5,000,000 CASH EXTRAVAGANZA game better or worse than the $2 Million Mega Cash game? Currently, the CASH EXTRAVAGANZA game is better, but this could change.

Bottom line, don’t just walk into a store and purchase a few random tickets, unless you really don’t care and just want to have fun. But if you want to improve your odds, these strategies do help.

Download instant lottery scratch-off games spreadsheet


To download the spreadsheet to your computer, click the menu File, then Download As.

Note, this is a Google Doc so you won’t risk getting viruses or other crap you get if you download strange files or those ending in .exe.

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Luckiest numbers to play for the NJ Lottery

A recent article on features a fun activity. They crunched all the numbers from previous drawings and determined the luckiest numbers to play for the New Jersey Lottery.

You can find the luckiest numbers for the NJ Lottery here.

However, what you won’t find are the best numbers to play or the ones more likely to be drawn in the future.

The hardest single theory for most lottery players to believe is the randomness of numbers theory.

It’s really not a theory, but a fact. Unless the game is rigged.

But the fact is the following number combinations all have equal chances of be drawn next for the first 5 numbers of Powerball:





I’ll say it again. The odds of any of the above number combinations being drawn are the same.

To improve your chances of winning the lottery, it’s not necessarily the numbers you choose, but how and which games you play.

People suggest staying away from lower numbers to avoid sharing your winnings because others will likely play numbers based on birthdays and anniversaries.

The best way to improve your chances of winning is to play more often.

There’s no better way to play 6 games, every day, than to play FreeLotto.

State lottery sales plummet 30% in early 2015

Are you suffering from jackpot fatigue?

If you are, you’re not alone.

Ticket sales for Mega Millions and Powerball games were down 30% for the first quarter, 2015.

Imagine what that’s doing to state budgets!?!

States are responding to falling lottery ticket sales by pumping up the jackpot amounts in hopes of luring back the casual player who buys lotto tickets only when the prize becomes enormous.

An interesting catch is that when fewer people play, it becomes hard to reach the ginormous prizes, for example going from $100 million to $300 million

People once impressed with a $100 million payout shrug until it reaches $300 million. Then fewer people play, so it takes longer to get to staggering prizes.

What are people playing? FreeLotto. More and more gamers are flocking to FreeLotto – the world’s largest online lottery style sweepstakes – because they realize it’s free, easy to play, and the odds are similar to state lotteries.

Check it out for yourself. Play right now.

How many people win the NJ Lottery?

Ever wonder how many people win during a typical drawing?

Last Friday’s NJ Lottery drawing produced the following winners:

Two tickets matched all five numbers draw for the Jersey Cash 5 jackpot, splitting a $536,942 prize for $268,471 apiece.

The winning numbers were 28, 33, 37, 40 and 43.

4,249 other players split $142,548 in cash prizes in the same NJ Lottery drawing. For correctly picking four of the five numbers, 121 people won $564 each, and 4,128 won $18 each for correctly picking three numbers.

Want to improve your odds of winning? Play FreeLotto for free.

Two $1 million scratch-off lottery winners at Jersey City store

Two $1 million scratch-off lottery winners at Jersey City store

If you live or travel anywhere near Jersey City in the state of New Jersey, USA, you have to stop into M-S Grocery INC, a convenience store on Montgomery Street.

It is the luckiest store on the East Coast.

Last January, a customer purchased a Merry Millions scratch-off ticket there and won the $1 million grand prize. And just last Friday, another customer scratched off a $20 Diamond Spectacular ticket worth a cool million bucks.

Employee Rehan Khan said the store has always been considered lucky and with two $1 million winners, more people have been stopping by with a couple dollars and a dream.

“Since the last winning ticket, the number of scratch-offs being sold has kept growing and growing and growing,” Rehan said.

On a typical Friday in February, you’ll find the store filled with customers willing to brave the icy chill to come in and buy themselves some hope.

Besides the grand winners, the store owners, cousins Mohammad Riaz Khan and Mohammad Bashir Khan, say they’ve had plenty of $500 and $1,000 winners over the years.

“This is the luckiest store in Jersey City,” said John Barr, a customer for at least 20 years, as he grinned and scratched off the lottery tickets in his hands. “I’ve won $500 here at least 4 times.”

Jonthan Perez, another regular at the store who says he’s won close to $15,000, says somehow the odds are better at M-S Grocery.

“The most I’ve won in another store was $1.50,” he said.

Rehan himself enjoys seeing people win, especially when it’s big money.

Even if you’re not near Jersey City, you can still play for a chance to win millions – right here on this site for FREE!

NJ Lottery winner forgets to check winner ticket – at first

article5_20141010Everyone knows the saying you have to play to win, but many seem to be forgetting that you have to check your numbers to claim a prize. An astonishing number of prizes go unclaimed in lotteries every year. The rules vary from state to state, lottery to lottery, but the majority allows one year to claim any prize winnings. If no one claims the prize money within the given time, the money is returned to the prize pool for future games and promotions.

One New Jersey winner, Melvin Milligan, was saved by a postmark date. Milligan had purchased the winning ticket in June 2000, put it in the junk drawer and forgot to check the drawing’s results. Nearly a year later, he was watching the news and they mentioned that a winning ticket remained unclaimed and was about to expire. Milligan dug through the junk drawer, located the ticket and immediately went to the store to have the ticket confirmed a $46 million winner. He signed the ticket, put it in an envelope and mailed it to the Lottery Headquarters.

The ticket arrived two days past the deadline but fortunately for Milligan and his wife, the decision makers at the lottery accepted the postmark date on the envelope and allowed him to collect the prize money.

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New Jersey Lottery players should check for winning tickets

DrawerEveryone knows the saying you have to play to win, but many seem to be forgetting that you have to check your numbers to claim a prize. An astonishing number of prizes go unclaimed in lotteries every year. The rules vary from state to state, lottery to lottery, but the majority allows one year to claim any prize winnings. If no one claims the prize money within the given time, the money is returned to the prize pool for future games and promotions.

One New Jersey winner, Melvin Milligan, was saved by a postmark date. Milligan had purchased the winning ticket in June 2000, put it in the junk drawer and forgot to check the drawing’s results. Nearly a year later, he was watching the news and they mentioned that a winning ticket remained unclaimed and was about to expire. Milligan dug through the junk drawer, located the ticket and immediately went to the store to have the ticket confirmed a $46 million winner. He signed the ticket, put it in an envelope and mailed it to the Lottery Headquarters.

NJ Lottery winner takes home $14 million

iStock_000005875066_ExtraSmallFlossie Endreson played the lottery for years. Learning from their mother, the Endreson family continued to play the lottery after her death. The 17 siblings started to pool their money together for lottery tickets about ten years ago.

Sigrid Endreson was holding the winning ticket for the Pick 6 game for about two weeks before remembering to check the numbers. She did so while out at a local grocery store and had to call one of her sisters to come get her because she was so overcome with emotion.

This large New Jersey family recently cashed in their winning ticket for $14 million or around $10 million after taxes. Many of the family members were affected by the storm Sandy and will use that money to continue rebuilding and support local charities.

The jackpot will be split among the children and a few grandchildren. Hopefully this family tradition will carry down to the next generation of Endresons.

NJ Lottery announces winner

lottery ticket and pencilOn Monday, August 26th, New Jersey state officials announced that the final third of the August 7th $448 million Powerball lottery jackpot was claimed. Mario Scarnici, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, purchased a newspaper, and what turned out to be the lucky ticket, at a local Super Stop and Shop. Scarnici will receive $62 million in cash, after taxes. He looks forward to helping his two adult sons, who will receive a portion of the win.

A group of coworkers, now called the “Ocean’s 16,” claimed their share of the winnings on August 12. A few of the new millionaires were victims of Hurricane Sandy, which paralyzed the east coast in 2012. Another is the daughter of one of the writers of New Jersey’s lottery law.

Out of the three winning tickets sold for the much sought after mega-prize, two were sold in New Jersey. The last time a state had two winning jackpot winners was on December 22, 1993 in Washington, D.C. The third winning ticket was sold in Minnesota.