The lottery jackpot may seem a distant dream, but there are ways to improve your odds of winning. For instance, you can play multiple tickets or choose numbers based on birthdates and anniversaries. You can also join a lottery pool with friends or family members to increase your chances of winning. If you do win a big jackpot, make sure to secure the ticket in a safe place and consult with financial professionals to help manage your wealth.
Super-sized jackpots drive lottery sales, not least because they earn the games a windfall of free publicity on newscasts and websites. But they’re also a product of math and an intentional strategy. The way to ensure that a jackpot grows to apparently newsworthy levels on a regular basis is to make the prize harder to win, says Victor Matheson, an economist at the College of the Holy Cross who studies lotteries.
In recent years, Powerball and Mega Millions organizers have lengthened the odds of winning the top prize from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million. That has made the jackpots grow larger and more frequent. And when that happens, it can create a huge buzz and a lot of what-ifs for people who hold the winning ticket.