Lotto luck isn’t based on dumb luck but a mix of strategy and skill, and there are proven ways to raise the odds of winning the lottery, according to Lustig.

So probabilities numerically quantify how likely it is that something will happen: think of your chances of calling Heads on a coin-toss.


Probability is defined mathematically in terms of the likelihood of an event, and is described by a number between 0 and 1. For a particular event, the probability is fixed. When tossing a fair coin, there is probability one-half of getting a head or tails. A sequence of events – eg, whether or not a student passes their exam, whether or not they win the lottery and so on – are described by the so-called sample space definition of a probability: 1 – Pr(not Winning)displaystyle (1- Pr(not Winning)). This interpretation is the basis of a large number of simple games using coins, cards, dice and roulette wheels.


Quite a few lottery players believe that you can do something to help you in winning the lottery, for instance you can pick a row of lucky numbers or always use them every time – all things people do in the hopes if helping them in winning the lottery. According to statistics experts, most of those things are just myth.

Researchers contend that you’re actually four times likelier to be struck by lightning than to win the Powerball lottery, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a ticket for it.

You should instead stop playing in large-prize, state-run lotteries such as pick-3 lotteries and play any lottery you can afford with a smaller prize because you may not be able to pass the money on to your great-grandchildren. And of course, choose the numbers you like: it will increase your odds of hitting jackpot. This is rule three of Richard Lustig’s seven-time lottery win tips on increasing your chances of winning the lottery, found on

Superstitions and Charms

Some of these lucky charms or superstitions, such as the horseshoe, the four-leaf clover, or other signs associated with good fortune, are shared among different ethnic groups, though the classification changes from culture to culture. There is, of course, also the lucky goldfish that is sometimes flushed down the toilet after the initial win. While there is no real ‘scientific’ evidence for lucky charms, it is possible that lucky charms and other lucky beliefs boost your confidence. This in turn may put you in the mood to win.

Other superstitious rituals played out in local bars involved spending part of one’s winnings on pork products (it’s good luck to eat 1,000 da jiao – ‘pig’s mouth’ – either fresh or dried), or rabbit’s feet, or new red underwear (after being washed in tea water first). Or taking a talisman fan (painted red) or an old coin that had been held by another winner to the weekly pari-mutuel draw on Saturday or Sunday evening. Gamblers might even carry out elaborate procedures before playing: some would cross their fingers or listen to certain music, always wear particular clothes, or chew gum before littering the game area with discarded wrappers (it’s lucky if another player picks up and pockets the wrappers).

Superstitions might not be essential before you buy your lottery ticket, but perhaps a little frivolity will take your mind off the fact that you continue to succumb to the reasoning behind it all: if I have a lucky omen, in some tiny way I have some control over whether I win or not. (Of course, once you’ve entertained your lucky charm and purchased your tickets, you’ll realise that skill might have something to do with it as well.) The good news is: if you have a lucky sports team, it’s fine to stick with them and watch it live; if you have a lucky number or knack for selecting lottery numbers, you can probably continue indulging in that as well. But the self-help work with accurate psychic lemons will continue to be a self-imposed curse. And that’s not much fun at all.


Many gamblers try tricks they believe will improve their luck, for example buying more tickets, selecting numbers through birth-months (birthdays) or the other way round, numbers connected with these months (birth-dates). However, none of those tips work, as odds for different lottery games are different from each other.

When the lotto numbers roll in, your life can change forever. Conceivably, your winnings will provide tremendous economic dividends. On the other hand, they also might cause you to spend extravagantly and go broke. On a happier note, and with an eye to the possibilities, Robert Pagliarini, the investment adviser, says: ‘When life-changing money is about to be yours, it makes sense to take a deep breath, consult an attorney, tax professional, and financial advisor, and absolutely do not go on any shopping sprees until you’ve handed that tycoon’s check to your team of professionals for a little expert assistance in funding the future you desire.

Your chance of winning either of the big US lotteries, Mega Millions or Powerball, may seem unlikely, but losing money on your lottery ticket acquisitions does not have to be a certainty. Stay informed about how odds affect all games of chance and how true probabilities are calculated. Learn about proven risk-minimising strategies that maximise the chance of winning.

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