When it comes to playing the lottery, we’re all guilty of attempting some strategy. Usually, our lottery strategies are pretty small in scale, amounting to little more than buying five tickets instead of one, or suddenly switching your lucky numbers based on instinct.
But what about those who take it more seriously? Winning the lottery is, after all, the fastest possible way to become a millionaire, so it’s unsurprising that some people take their strategies to their next level, putting in hours of preparation in the hopes of bagging the jackpot.
The lottery might just be fun and games to most of us but, for others, it’s almost a career path. When lottery jackpots are frequently surpassing a billion dollars these days, you can hardly blame them. Sometimes, these strategies pay off, allowing the winners to walk home with hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in one go.
If you’re looking to boost your odds of winning, it’s time to learn from the masters. Here are three strategies for winning the lottery, used by actual winners. Warning: these methods are restricted or now even illegal in many countries, so they probably aren’t worth the risk.
Form a Mega-Syndicate
Syndicates are very common in lotteries, wherein people in a workplace or family pool together to buy multiple tickets, with the goal of sharing the jackpot if one of them wins. Back in 1992, however, accountant Stefan Klincewitz took this to the next level, bagging the winning ticket on the Irish Lotto as a result. Stefan gathered a 28-man syndicate and raised enough money to buy over a million lottery tickets in time for the Irish rollover jackpot, to the point where Irish lottery chiefs actually clocked on and decided to shut down the terminals. Still, though, he walked away with big money.
Follow the Numbers
The lottery is a numbers game with millions of possible results. Richard Lusting, a seven-time, millionaire lottery winner, realized this early on and painstakingly studied years of draws to try and pick out the most likely numbers. He also made sure to never use the automatic number picking options, opting to pick his own numbers every time, as he says this increases odds of winning. In the end, it certainly worked, and Mr. Lustig even wrote a book about how to win using his method.
Buy All the Tickets
This is probably the bluntest way to go about winning, but it has worked in the past, although it’s no longer legal in the country it was tried in. A Romanian-born mathematician, Stefan Mandel, actually won the lottery a whopping 14 times, pocketing millions in the process. He did this by calculating the total possible number of potential results, then raised the huge amounts of capital necessary to buy a ticket with every combination of numbers. It worked, several times. The downside is that you have to pay off your investors – Mandel won $1.3 million in 1987, but only pocketed $97,000 in the end.
As you can see, there’s no easy path to winning the lottery. Perhaps the best way to do it is just to buy a ticket and keep your fingers crossed.