Do most lottery winners buy multiple tickets?

In an effort to double their odds, many lottery players buy two lottery tickets. Of course, improving your odds doesn't hurt, but it's not going to make much difference either. Of course, someone has to win the jackpot. But don't let that certainty cloud your judgment.

The rules of probability dictate that you should not increase your chances of winning the lottery by playing more frequently or betting larger amounts on each drawing. Every lottery ticket has an equal chance of winning no matter how many you buy. Each one has an independent probability that is not altered by the frequency of play or by the number of tickets you have purchased for the same draw. While buying more tickets technically increases your chances of winning, buying as many tickets as you can is probably a really bad idea.

The odds of winning the lottery are approximately one in 300 million, but unlikely odds don't mean you can't do more to increase your odds of winning, such as buying multiple tickets, participating in every drawing, or living in the state with the most lottery winners. The announced lottery prizes are the sum of the total annuity payments that a single winner would receive for decades; the immediate global payments offered as an alternative are significantly lower. Imagine that the stadium was full to capacity and that everyone inside would participate in a lottery with only one winner. In some states, Powerball will convert annuities into lump sum payments after the winner dies to help manage the resulting tax liabilities.

Despite the stories that are frequently told about lottery winners who wasted their fortune, most end up richer and not less happy because of it. Because lottery tickets are purchased anonymously, some jackpot winners have deposited their winning tickets in blind trusts to protect their privacy. Here's how to win the lottery (or at least increase your chances) by choosing the most common lottery numbers (just one of the things lottery winners won't tell you).

Suzanne Wright
Suzanne Wright

Incurable twitter nerd. Wannabe tea nerd. Freelance twitter guru. Amateur food aficionado. Typical music enthusiast. Subtly charming zombie ninja.