The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to $475 million after no one matched all five numbers plus the Mega Ball required to win the jackpot, as reported Saturday by The Inquisitr. You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to increase your odds of winning, and as it turns out, there are, in fact, a few things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor. However, as you’ll see in the next couple of paragraphs, whatever you do isn’t going to change things in any mathematically-significant way.
The odds of winning (or sharing) the Mega Millions jackpot are one in about 258.9 million. To visualize that, imagine a seven-gallon jug filled with salt; there are roughly 258.9 million grains of salt in those seven gallons, according to the math laid out in the Bowkerhouse blog. Winning the Mega Millions jackpot is roughly equivalent to picking the correct grain of salt from that jug.
And here’s the kicker — whatever you can do to tilt the odds in your favor, all you’re really doing is the equivalent of removing a few teaspoons of salt from the jug before you try to pick the right grain.
Nevertheless, any port in a storm, as the old saying goes. So here are some things you can do to ever-so-slightly increase your odds of winning the lottery.
Don’t Pick Your Own Numbers
People tend to pick their lottery numbers sentimentally, choosing numbers with meaning to them. And since we humans live and die by dates on the calendar, and since the dates on the calendar only go as high as 31, that means that many lottery players will pick numbers between 1 and 31, according to this report from The Inquisitr. That cuts you out of about half of the available numbers that are just as likely to come up as the lower numbers. Let the computer randomly pick numbers for you.
Buy Your Tickets Early
The closer you are to the time of the Mega Millions (or Powerball) drawing, the more likely it is you’ll be buying a combination of numbers that’s already been purchased by someone else. That means that if your number comes up, you’ll have to share your jackpot.
Participate In A ‘Pool’
Several huge lottery jackpots that have been won in recent years didn’t go to individual winners, but rather to groups of winners who pooled their money. Find some friends, family members, co-workers, have everyone kick in $10 or so, and soon you’ll have dozens or hundreds of tickets that could potentially have the winning numbers while limiting the amount of money you personally invested. Of course, the downside is that you’ll have to split that money with several other people, but let’s be realistic — to the average working American, a share of a $475 million jackpot is going to be just as life-changing as the full $475 million jackpot.