Why You Should Play the Lottery


The lottery might seem like the stuff of Instagram and Kardashians, but its roots are ancient. For centuries, lotteries have been a popular way for governments to raise money and build public works projects. They have also helped fuel the American Revolution and helped pay for parts of Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and other elite universities. Even George Washington sponsored a lottery to help fund the building of roads across the country, though it failed.

The most obvious reason to play the lottery is that you have a chance to win big. However, there’s more to winning than luck. You have to do a little work to figure out how to win, and that involves analyzing patterns and identifying strategies that might make a difference in your odds of success.

One example of a successful strategy is to chart the numbers on the outside of your ticket and look for “singletons.” These are digits that appear only once. When you find a group of singletons, it’s a good sign that there is a winning ticket in the drawing. This technique can improve your chances of winning by 60-90%.

Another tip is to choose a number range with both even and odd numbers. Choosing all odd or all even numbers reduces your chances of winning, Glickman says. Many people stick with numbers that have a personal meaning, such as birthdays or ages of children. But this may reduce your odds of winning because the number you pick might be picked by other players, Lesser explains.