How to Beat the Lottery


Americans spend about $80 Billion on lottery tickets every year – more than most people have in emergency funds. But there’s an ugly underbelly to this exercise. Those who buy lotteries aren’t just losing their money, they’re also risking their financial health. And even if they win, the prize money can be so big that it has major tax implications — sometimes up to half of the winnings are taxable.

Many people think that some numbers come up more often than others, but this is just random chance. The numbers don’t know that they are supposed to come up more or less — they just roll around in the pool until one gets picked. So don’t try to beat the lottery by picking certain numbers just because they are more frequent. Instead, focus on using math-based strategies to increase your chances of winning.

Another way to increase your chance of winning is to join a syndicate with friends or family members and split the cost of tickets. This increases your chances of winning, but the amount you get each time is less (because you’re sharing). Some people find this approach sociable, and enjoy spending small winnings together.

The first recorded lotteries were held in the Low Countries in the 15th century, where they raised funds for town fortifications and to help poor people. The winners were given prizes in the form of goods such as dinnerware, or a lump sum of cash. Currently, most lotteries award their prizes in the form of an annuity, so that the winner receives a lump sum when they win, and 29 annual payments that will grow over time.