Odds of winning the lottery

Odds of winning the lottery

Many people have their own superstitious traditions they follow in hopes to bring them more luck, but is there actually a way to improve your chance of winning?

According to the Powerball website, powerball.com, buying more tickets will obviously help your chances, but the odds are still high.

A secret revealed on the website is that there are 35 numbers in Powerball’s second drum, so if a group buys 35 tickets, each with a unique red Powerball number, then you are guaranteed to at least win the $4 prize.

If you are superstitious, you may want to have the computer pick your numbers. About 70 to 80 percent of winners are computer picks.

The overall odds of winning the grand prize are 1 in 175,223,520.

If you are looking to just get some kind of winning prize, the odds are 1 in 31.85.

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Here’s what to do if you win the lottery

What to do if you win the lottery

If you should ever be so lucky as to win a major prize in a lottery, there are some things you need to know about:

1) Read the rules on the ticket and on the lottery’s website. Sign your name on the back of the ticket, unless the rules forbid it. Then make a copy of it and put it in a safe deposit box. Don’t feel compelled to tell the world just yet. Try to refrain from telling anyone beyond your immediate family. You can take your time before contacting the lottery authorities, but be aware that ticket expiration periods vary from state to state, from 90 days to one year. The back of your ticket will likely detail the expiration period for your state.

2) Assemble your team. You need to interview estate attorneys, accountants and financial advisers. An important caveat: Don’t hire only one money manager. You can assemble anywhere from three to six with different areas of expertise.

3) Determine whether you will accept the payout as a lump sum or in installments. At this point, the lump sum for the $500 million prize is $327 million before federal taxes are applied and $245.2 million after-tax. Conversely, you could choose to receive annual payments over 29 years, which would amount to $16.6 million a year pre-tax and $12.5 million after taxes. This does not include state or city taxes, which would further reduce your take. You have 60 days, after you claim your ticket, to make the decision.

You mostly hear about winners taking the lump sum, because they want to control the entire amount of money. This year, there could be a tax edge in taking the lump sum, since odds are good that taxes will rise next year.

The big problem with a lump sum is that winners often end up blowing the entire amount doing dumb things. Don McNay, author of the book “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery,” says nine out of 10 winners go through their money in five years or less. “It’s too much, too fast,” he says. “Nobody is around them putting the brakes on the situation.”

The stream of income ensures that you won’t blow through your entire jackpot. That said, there’s a major caveat to going this route — if you die before collecting the entire amount, the remainder of your winnings may or may not pass to your heirs. This depends on the rules of the individual lottery and the state where you win.

4) Determine the legal structure of your investment holdings. Your attorney will help determine whether you should utilize trusts, limited liability companies or even corporations. Depending on your state of domicile, each may have advantages and disadvantages in terms of taxation, as well as privacy.

That said, it’s fine to splurge a little. The key is to not go crazy — initially, keep it under $100,000. That means don’t buy a new house or a Ferrari for a while, but do take your family on a fabulous vacation. And when you return, remember that you have a new job: Responsibly managing your money.

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'Life-Changing Event': Powerball Winners Told to 'Take Your Time'

Texas Lottery Powerball winner told to ‘Take Your Time’

While lottery officials in North Carolina and Texas said they’re thrilled that residents of their states beat 175 million-to-1 odds to share the fifth-biggest U.S. jackpot ever, they offered this advice Thursday: Keep the ticket safe, and take your time.

The Multi-State Lottery Association, which administers Powerball, said the third winning ticket was sold Wednesday in Puerto Rico. The winners have 180 days to come forward to claim their prizes, worth $127 million as a lump sum before taxes.

“Personally, I hope this winner takes that time to get their financial house in order,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission. He said the winner or winners — who bought the ticket in Princeton, near McKinney, and haven’t been identified — are already seeking legal and financial advice.

Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, said winners are dealing with “a life-changing event.” And while “we look forward to meeting the jackpot winner,” she said, “the most important thing for the winner to do today is sign the back of the ticket and secure it in a safe place.”

The winner or winners in North Carolina, who also weren’t identified, bought the winning ticket at a Scotchman convenience store in the town of Shallotte in Brunswick County, about 13 miles north of the South Carolina border.


Three winners to split $564.1 Powerball jackpot

Texas Lottery player 1 of 3 winners to split $564.1 Powerball jackpot

Chandra Siwakoti has had a brush with a very, very rich person.

Siwakoti owns the Appletree Food Mart in tiny Princeton, Texas, population 7,700. One of the three winning tickets that will split Wednesday night’s $564.1 million jackpot was sold at Siwakoti’s store, Texas lottery officials said Thursday.

“Are you serious? Which one? Powerball? Yesterday?!” Chandra Siwakoti told WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth when told of the news Thursday. “I cannot believe. It’s exciting!”

Winning jackpot tickets also were sold in North Carolina and Puerto Rico, lottery officials announced early Thursday.

Sue Dooley, senior drawing manager for the Multi-State Lottery Association, said the Puerto Rico ticket was the first Powerball jackpot winner ever sold outside the continental United States. Puerto Rico joined Powerball less than a year ago.

The winning numbers were: 11, 13, 25, 39, 54 and the Powerball number was 19.

The jackpot estimate, fattened by a drought that has seen no winner since Nov. 29, was raised to $500 million hours before the drawing and then to $564.1 following the drawing. It’s the third-largest Powerball prize ever.

If the winners choose to take the lump sum option, the three would split $381,138,450.16 before taxes.

Long lines formed at Powerball outlets across the nation Wednesday in the hours before the drawing. In Tampa, Ben Taran and Dave Baker decided to try their luck at the Carrollwood Market, where a $50 million ticket once was sold. The duo took up a collection at Carrollwood Country Club and arrived with a fistful of cash — $222, to be exact.

“They took out their wallets immediately,” Baker said of his co-workers. “They were in and they were more than happy to be a part of it.”

The two biggest Powerball jackpots: In May 2013, Gloria Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla, won $590.5 million. And in November 2012, Matthew Good of Phoenix and Cindy and Mark Hill of Dearborn, Mo., split a $587.5 million prize.


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How to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Sweepstakes

Want to increase your chances of winning a sweepstakes?

“Pick your own numbers and stick with them,” says seven-time lottery winner and Florida native Richard Lustig.

Yes, you read that right. Richard has won a variety of lotteries seven different times for a total take of $1,052,205.58 (before taxes).

Richard’s Big Wins

  • January 1993 — $10,000 scratch-off ticket
  • Aug. 14, 1997— $13,696.03 Fantasy 5 jackpot
  • June 2, 2000 — Trip to Los Angeles valued at $3,594.66 in a second-chance drawing for the Wheel of Fortune scratch-off game
  • October 18, 2001 — Trip to Graceland in Memphis valued at $4,966 in a second-chance drawing for the Elvis Presley scratch-off game
  • Jan. 22, 2002 — $842,152.91 Mega Money jackpot purchased at Publix
  • Nov. 25, 2008 — $73,658.06 Fantasy 5 jackpot purchased at Publix
  • July 11, 2009 — $5,145 for matching 5 of 6 numbers in the Florida Lotto, purchased at Publix
  • Aug. 9, 2009— $98,992.92 Fantasy 5 jackpot purchased at Publix

Secret to Richard’s Success

First, as mentioned earlier, pitch your numbers and play them consistently. Here’s why:

If you play Powerball, for example, and you let the computer pick your numbers, then your odds are 176 million every time you play. But if you stay with the same numbers, your odds get a little bit better each time.

Second, play the games with the smaller jackpots. “Sure it would be fun to win $40 million. But for most people, winning $100,000 would life changing, and your odds are better,” advises Richard.

Richard won’t share any more tips, but he did detail his winning methodology in a book, which you can buy at Amazon.

You can get started on your winning streak by playing FreeLotto for FREE! Click here to playing right now.

Editor’s Note: FreeLotto has no financial connection to Richard and does not derive any benefit from the sale of his book. Nor does FreeLotto endorse his methodology. But it is an interesting story.

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Birth Dates Hit Big for Tennessee Resident

Alvie Ward, a Crossville, Tennessee resident, purchased a lottery ticket on January 23rd and like he usually does, he played his children’s birthdays. That night, Ward forgot all about the drawing and went to bed without checking the numbers. His wife who happened to be awake at 3 AM checked the winning numbers on the lottery website and woke her husband up with the good news. They had won a $749,724 jackpot in the Tennessee Cash Lottery.

The Wards, who are about to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary in March, plan to use the prize money to pay off their mortgage.

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Lotto Winner to Make Kid’s Dreams Come True

Kim Mallett, 51, a hardworking single mom from Chicago, Illinois, knew that she was going to send her daughter to the private high school she dreamed of attending. She just didn’t know how she would afford it.

As luck would have it, the very day Kim dropped her daughter off at the school to take the entrance exam, she also purchased a Lucky Day Lotto ticket and won. That night, when she checked the winning numbers on the Illinois Lottery website, she couldn’t believe her eyes.  Her ticket matched all five numbers – 01 – 10 – 21 – 27 – 37 – winning her a $200,000 jackpot prize.

Kim plans to use the prize money to send her daughter to her dream school. She also plans to buy a new car for herself.


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Quick Decision to Retire

For Ed and Donna Ruth the decision to retire immediately was an easy one.  Ed checked his lucky ticket for the January 16th Lotto Max draw at a local convenience store ticket scanner while picking up a six pack of beer. The machine said the ticket was a “major winner” which Ed quickly found out was $1 million. Ed immediately called his wife of 36 years and told her to get home immediately. At first, she thought something was wrong but then he told her that they had won the lottery.

The happy couple made a quick decision to retire from their jobs and will use the money to travel, see their favorite hockey team play and treat their family to some gifts.

The convenience store where the winning ticket was purchased will receive a 1% sellers prize for selling the winning ticket.

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More Than He Bargained For

Richard Noll, of Boston, Massachusetts, was trying to buy a sandwich for lunch but only had a $100 bill that the sandwich shop wouldn’t take. Noll went to a bodega nearby to break his bill by purchasing two scratch tickets and got way more than he bargained for. The tickets were $20 Platinum Millions scratch off tickets and one of them was worth a whopping $10 million.

Noll and his wife, Lisa, decided to claim the prize as a lump sum and will receive $4.55 million after taxes. They plan to use the winnings to buy a house and take their grand-daughter to Disneyworld.

Since the Platinum Millions game launched in 2013, there have been a total of three $10 million winners.

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Edmonton Woman Shares Her Secret for Winning

“I only ever buy one ticket,” said Mary Ann Estanislao, one of the most recent Lotto Max winners. “I believe that if you’re meant to win, you only need one.”

When Mary Ann checked the winning numbers on the WCLC website, she was stunned to see all seven of her numbers on the screen. Her win was worth $15 million. Despite her initial shock, her family wasn’t at all surprised when she told them she was a lottery winner.

Mary Ann’s daughter told the press that her mother is always talking about what she will do with the money when she wins the lottery. When Mary Ann sat her down to tell her the news, her daughter asked if she won the lottery even before she could get any words out.

Mary Ann plans to use the money to pay off her mortgage and travel. She also plans to donate some money to her favorite charities.

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Newest Member of the Millionaires’ Club

Rutherford County, North Carolina has been quite lucky in recent years with three of its residents becoming millionaires from playing scratch tickets. Rodger Keith Melton, of Spindale, won $2.6 million in 2013. Dan Royal, of Forest City, won $5.2 million in 2013 and most recently a friend of Dan’s Henry Smith, of Rutherfordton, won $4 million in December.

Henry told lottery officials that his win was all because of his friend Dan. “I never would have tried a $20 ticket if it wasn’t for Dan. He came over the day I won, looked at my ticket, and said ‘Yup. Welcome to the millionaires’ club.'”

Smith plans to use the prize money to take a nice vacation, pay off his mortgage and some other bills.

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Big Lotto Secret

Most people tell their spouse right away when they win the lottery, but not Mike Fiske. Mike, 57, of Norfolk, U.K. entered the EuroMillions Lucky Dip online and could not believe it when he received an email saying he had won £1 Million. He thought it might be a hoax or a dream, so he didn’t tell anyone, including his wife of 28 years, until a week later after he had confirmed the win with Lottery officials. When he finally came clean to his wife, Jane, she was stunned.

Since confirming that his big win was not a joke, Mike has wasted no time. He’s decided to retire from the oil company he works for as a geophysicist and has already given notice. The lucky couple plan to use the prize money to build a new house, travel the world and enjoy retirement worry-free.

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Senior adult woman working on computer

Great-Great-Great Grandmother Wins Arizona Lotto

Eusebio Camacho, 78, regularly buys scratch off lottery tickets for his mother, Lily, who is 101 years old. Of the handful of tickets he bought that day, one in particular caught her eye. It was a $5 Money Tree scratch ticket. That lucky ticket turned out to be a top prize winner worth $50,000.

Lily was accompanied by five of her family members to collect her prize check and they were all very protective of the family matriarch. Eusebio told lottery officials that she will continue with her normal routine but it is sure to be a happy holiday for Lily, her 24 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, 19 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild.

The odds of winning the top prize in the $5 Money Tree game are 1 in 240,000.

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Just Because…

Aaron Monsey of Sterling, Virginia recently claimed a $1 Million Powerball Lottery win just four days before it was set to expire. But this isn’t a story of a winner who forgot to check his numbers.

The winning ticket was purchased approximately six months ago at an Exxon gas station in Monsey’s hometown. Monsey checked his ticket the day after the drawing and saw that he had matched the first five numbers, making his Easy Pick ticket worth $1 Million. When Lottery Officials asked him why he had waited so long to come forward, Monsey replied, “just because…” and remained silent on the subject for the rest of the interview.

Monsey isn’t the only winner. The store who sold the lucky ticket will receive a check from the Virginia Lottery for $10,000.

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Flying lottery balls

A Hit After Almost Two Decades

For almost two decades, Anthony Barry had been playing the same set of numbers in every Lotto 6/49 draw. Despite never winning more than a free ticket, he persisted. On December 10, 2014, his luck finally turned and his lucky numbers hit. When he heard just days later that someone from St. John’s area had won he checked the winning numbers and instantly recognized them. Barry won a $7 Million jackpot from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

Barry has no specific plans yet for how he will spend the prize money but says he will continue to play his lucky numbers in the lottery.

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