Did you buy your Powerball ticket? DID YOU?!?! The jackpot is now $1.5 billion, the largest jackpot in lottery history. That’s enough money to buy like a quarter of Donald Trump! You would be crazy to not take a chance at fortune and glory and being able to quit your job in the most fabulous way imaginable.
While that is a crazy amount of money, you aren’t crazy for not buying a ticket. In fact, I encourage you not to. The odds of winning are 1 in 292,201,338. To put that in perspective, the possibility of navigating the asteroid field that caused C-3PO to oil himself were 1 out of 3,720.
So listen, you aren’t going to win that jackpot. It’s the unfortunate truth you have to learn, just like how Santa Claus isn’t real and democracy doesn’t work. Really, the lottery as a whole is a sham, so I recommend avoiding it entirely.
But IF YOU INSIST on playing, I’ll be nice and give you some tips. I used to work for the lottery (Kind of. I worked for the contractor who ran the state lottery) and I did notice a few things. First off, it’s pretty much impossible to cheat (assuming you aren’t a lottery official). I lost track of all the people, jokingly or otherwise, who asked me for the “secret” to winning the lottery. It doesn’t exist. Just like Martin O’Malley’s chance at becoming president, it’s a fantasy.
So you won’t win it big. But you can increase your chances of winning something, and that is by playing the scratch-off tickets and having a little too much time on your hands. You see, each state lottery website discloses how many prizes of each value a particular game has. Not only that, the site will also tell you how many of each prize value is still in play.
For example, here are the list of prizes available for the Ohio Lottery game 10x the Money as of 1/11/16:
And here is the list for the Ohio Lottery game $100 Frenzy:
$100 Frenzy has a higher jackpot, but there are only four left. 10x the Money’s jackpot is half of what $100 Frenzy offers, but there are 16 of them left. Not to mention there are a lot more of the smaller prizes still in play for 10x the Money. Between the two of them, that’s the one you should be playing.
Please don’t take this advice as a guarantee you will win. And please don’t torch your name onto my lawn if you try this and lose. I mean, now I know who you are, idiot. This is simply additional information that most people don’t realize is available. And since everyone is intent on wasting their money anyway, you all might as well be given as much of a fighting chance as possible.