You want a piece of the pie. I do, too. Heck, in 2016, three lucky winners split the highest-recorded Powerball lottery jackpot of $1.6 billion. After paying Uncle Sam, each winner took home over $300 million. That’s a good day by anyone’s standards.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” Agreed. But how do you win? Obviously, a strong stroke of luck must be ever in your favor, but is there a rhyme or reason to the way Powerball is played? According to seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig, you need a plan of attack when you’re playing.
But before we get into the plan, make sure you know how to play the game. You have better odds of being struck by lightning than you do of winning the lottery. Nevertheless, here’s a quick rundown. Powerball uses two drums to pull those ever-so-familiar numbered balls. The first drum consists of 69 balls from which the first five winning numbers are chosen. From the second drum, 26 red balls tumble around, and only one is pulled. That’s the Powerball. If you choose the same six numbers that are pulled from the two drums, well, you just won the jackpot, and you can quit your day job.
So you didn’t win the jackpot. That’s cool. You can still win some cold hard cash with that ticket. Any matching numbers will win you anywhere from $4 to $1 million. What’s even cooler, if you choose the Powerplay option, you’ll increase those winnings by two times or more.
Now that you know the rules, how do you choose your numbers? Lottery players have their systems, and many of them like to stick with that system. Some numbers seem to be pulled more than others. Here are some of the most commonly pulled Powerball numbers and ways to increase your chances of winning big.
1. The most commonly pulled primary Powerball numbers
The top 10 most commonly pulled primary Powerball numbers are 26, 16, 41, 32, 22, 23, 28, 42, 39, and 10 as of November 2017, according to LottoNumbers. These are the numbers pulled from the first drum of white balls, and they have all been pulled over 250 times. You may want to put those in your back pocket when it comes time to choose your numbers.
2. The most common Powerball numbers
It’s the big number — the one you must have to win the jackpot. In descending order, LottoNumbers says the 10 most commonly pulled Powerball numbers are 6, 20, 9, 11, 2, 12, 18, 10, 26, and 1, as of November 2017. If the Powerball number on your lottery ticket matches that of the one chosen from the drum, you can win anywhere from $4 to $40.
3. What’s the deal with the Quick Picks?
Quick Pick lottery numbers are generated by the computer. Seven-time lottery winner Lustig stands beside the notion that opting for Quick Pick lottery tickets is the lazy approach to playing the game. And perhaps it is, but that doesn’t mean the Quick Picks are not winners. After all, 70% of previous winners have been Quick Picks.
4. Not a quick picker? Choose significant numbers
When it comes to choosing your own numbers, have fun with it. But don’t forget the spread of the numbers. You have the option to choose five numbers between 1 and 69, and one number between 1 and 26. Keeping those numbers in mind, make sure you are not limiting your choices to just anniversaries and birthdays. Using those significant dates won’t always give you access to the higher end of the number options.
5. Know the overdue numbers
Some numbers are chosen more often than others, but that doesn’t mean they are never chosen. A few of the numbers that are considered to be overdue (as of November 2017) for the pulling are 46, 2, 5, 40, 33, 11, 47, 36, 9, and 60. If your favorite numbers are some of the overdue ones, this does not necessarily mean you should switch them up.
6. Don’t shy away from unpopular numbers
For some reason, we all have our lucky numbers. Some of those lucky numbers would be considered unpopular in the lottery game. For instance, 13 is unpopular and often considered unlucky too, but I love that number. Other unlucky or unpopular numbers are in the upper range: 32, 34, 40, and 46.
7. Avoid constantly switching it up
Lustig stands behind his theory of avoiding the incessant changing of numbers. If you are opting out of Quick Picks to choose your own numbers, keep them. Do a little research to determine whether the numbers you choose seem to be a good set. If they are, hold on to them.
8. Buy more tickets
The odds of winning the lottery increase when you purchase more tickets. That’s a given. By all means, avoid spending money on lottery tickets that is allocated for groceries, your mortgage, and your children’s school lunch. But if you really want to win, buying more tickets is a surefire way to increase your odds. Also, be consistent with your game playing. Finally, tune in to make sure you don’t miss out on winnings.
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