The cash registers were ringing all day at Save-on-Cigs in Covington this week, as lottery hopefuls stocked up on Mega Millions and Powerball tickets.
With the Mega Millions jackpot up to $1.6 BILLION for next Tuesday, everybody is looking for an edge.
But is there anything the people standing in line could do to increase their odds?
One of the biggest lottery authorities is Richard Lustig, the Florida man who claims he won seven lottery jackpots. He is now getting rich -- not from lotteries -- but from his book, "Learn to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery."
If you don't want to spend the money for his book, he has some basic suggestions:
- Play the same numbers every drawing (but read why some experts say this is bad advice).
- Never buy fewer than 10 tickets.
- If they are random numbers, buy them in a row and from the same machine.
- Set a budget, and do not exceed it, no matter how big the drawing.
- Never spend your rent or grocery money on tickets.
However, it is now easier than ever to go over budget, due to more and more states accepting credit cards.
Until recently you had to line up in a convenience store and bring plenty of cash with you to buy a ticket. But states are now making it easier than ever to buy tickets, by allowing you to buy them with a credit card, minus the line.
Kentucky Online Tickets
Jim Martin didn't have to come out to buy his tickets: Kentucky now gives its residents the option of buying them online through the Kentucky Lottery website, with a credit card. There's a daily limit of $200.
But Martin says he is sticking with cold hard cash.
"I think they are out of their mind," he said. "I'd rather put down regular cash than use my credit card."
Linda Ace is not so sure she would pay with plastic either.
"I don't think that's a good idea," she said, "because you are going into debt for something that you probably won't get."
Ohio Phone App tickets
Ohio started accepting credit cards in its lottery machines last year. They have a $100 daily limit.
But for 2018, Ohio is making it even easier, letting you buy Ohio Lotto tickets, Mega Millions or Powerball on your phone, with the new Lottery Card.
With the new Text to Play lotto appyou buy a special card at Kroger, and register it with PayPal.
Whenever you want to buy a ticket you text your card's code, and you are playing. Any winnings you receive under $600 are credited to your PayPal account. There is no more standing in line, or forgetting to cash in a $5 winning ticket.
Increase Your Odds
Mathematicians say the simplest way to increase your odds is to buy more tickets.
Think about it: Two tickets give you twice the chance (though your odds are still minimal), and buying 100 million tickets would give you a 100 million chances (but you could still lose, and lose $100 million in the process).
Whatever you do, don't overspend, and don't waste your money.
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