Does Quick Picking Your Lottery Numbers Work?
Are You More Likely to Win If You Choose Your Own Lottery Numbers?
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When you buy a ticket for a lottery, like Powerball or Mega Millions, you have a choice to make. You need to decide whether to select your own numbers or use Quick Pick, which lets a computer randomly pick numbers for you.
But which choice is better? Are you more likely to win the lottery if you use one method or the other?
The Argument for Quick Picking Lottery Numbers
Using Quick Pick has an obvious advantage: It’s quick. If you just want to get in the game and have the chance of winning a jackpot, Quick Pick is fast, convenient, and will have you on your way in a flash. You don’t have to consider which numbers to play and you don’t have to spend time filling in dozens of numbers on the form.
Another thing that Quick Pick has going for it is that lottery numbers are random and so are the numbers Quick Pick draws. By trying to outguess the computer by choosing your own numbers, you could actually be lowering your odds.
Why? People tend to react emotionally to numbers, “liking” some and “disliking” others. People tend to pick the numbers they like, while computers have no bias.
Furthermore, humans are likely to pick numbers that mean something to them, such as birth dates or anniversaries. That means that some numbers are selected more often than others (especially numbers that fall in the range of 1 – 31, since they correspond to dates). If you win with a commonly-used number, the chances are higher that you’ll have to split your jackpot.
The Argument for Choosing Your Own Lottery Numbers
So Quick Pack has some advantages, but choosing your own numbers does as well.
Many people simply enjoy having control over the numbers that they buy. They may feel closer to a loved one by playing their birth date or they may find that playing a lucky hunch or the numbers in a fortune cookie is more fun.
Self-pickers also have the ability to avoid the most commonly-played numbers. If all numbers have the exact same chance of being drawn, then you can at least narrow the odds of having to share your jackpot if you win by picking the most rarely-selected numbers, something that Quick Pick won’t do for you. Quick Pick won’t prioritize lottery numbers that give you higher chances of winning the whole pot.
Another thing that Quick Pick can’t do is to ensure you choose unique numbers across tickets. There’s no guarantee that your Quick Picked lottery numbers won’t repeat themselves. With very bad luck, a Quick Pick could even end up with two tickets with the exact same numbers on them — a waste of money that won’t happen when you choose your own numbers. The Quick Pick is likely to generate the same random numbers for other lottery players, too.
Some people believe that they can use a system to crack the lottery. To try your luck with a lottery system like wheeling, analyzing the probability of numbers being drawn, or following recommendations from lottery software, you need to pick your own numbers.
Quick Picks Versus Self-Picks: Which Are Better?
If there were a clear way to get better chances of winning the lottery, everyone would do it. That the debate over Quick Pick versus self-pick exists at all indicates there’s no clear winner.
If you are going strictly by the numbers, more Quick Pickers than self-pickers win lottery jackpots. About 70% of lottery winners used Quick Pick to choose their numbers. But then again, about the same percentage of all lottery players — about 70% – 80% — use Quick Pick. So it seems that about the same percentage of people win using each method.
It really boils down to what makes the most sense for you. If you have fun poring over numbers to find a pattern, then coming up with a system might be right for you. If it makes you smile to play your children’s birthdays, then play them! Even splitting a jackpot is better than not winning at all.
If you just want to grab a few tickets while you are picking up milk at your local convenience store or you want to buy a batch of tickets for your office lottery pool, Quick Pick is a solid option.
Most important of all is to make sure that if you do play the lottery, you set a budget that you can afford and never go above it. The chance of winning a huge lottery jackpot isn’t worth blowing your rent or grocery money on tickets.When you buy a lottery ticket, you can choose your own numbers or use Quick Pick to have numbers randomly assigned. Which has the best chances of winning?
How to Win the Lottery: 7 Tips that Really Work!
No Schemes! Just Common-Sense Lottery-Winning Tips
If you look for information about how to win the lottery, you’ll find many tips that don’t work. Lottery schemes like picking “rare” numbers (every number has an equal chance of winning, no matter how recently it was drawn), software that’s supposed to be better at picking numbers, and other forms of wishful thinking abound.
There’s no way to predict the numbers that will come up in the lottery. The drawings are completely random, so the best you can do is try to pick unusual numbers so you won’t have to split the jackpot if there’s a tie.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no way of increasing your odds of becoming a lottery winner. Here are some fact-based tips that really work, and will help you win the lottery.
Improve Your Chances of Winning the Lottery by Playing the Right Games
People talk about entering the lottery as if it were just one game, but every state has a selection of lottery games—and they each have different odds of winning.
Read the odds before you spend your money to ensure you’re maximizing your chances of winning. By picking games with better odds, you boost your chances of being a lottery winner.
Remember that lottery games like Powerball and MegaMillions are national lotteries. They have fixed odds of winning, but if many people enter, you could end up splitting a jackpot. That would lower the value of your prize.
Don’t write off scratch-off games, either. They usually offer smaller prizes but higher chances of winning overall.
Join a Lottery Pool to Get More Entries Without Spending More Money
The easiest way to boost your odds of winning lotteries is simply to buy more tickets. But of course, that costs money, and even if you invest a lot of money buying tickets, your odds of winning are still poor.
But what if you could buy tickets at a fraction of the price? Lottery pools give you that chance.
Lottery pools give you the opportunity to improve your odds without spending more money. Consider joining your office lottery pool or starting one of your own to get better chances of winning without breaking your budget.
Don’t Miss a Lottery Win!
Imagine winning a big jackpot—but missing out on your money because you forgot to double-check your numbers. It happens more often than you think.
For example, one MegaMillions lottery ticket worth nearly $300,000 was never claimed. Somewhere out there, there’s someone with no idea that they won, and lost, a huge prize. Don’t let that happen to you.
When you buy a lottery ticket, keep it somewhere where you can find it again easily. Jot down the drawing date and time in your calendar if you’re afraid you might forget it.
Check the numbers against your ticket, and double-check them, just to be sure. Also, make sure that you are looking at the numbers for the correct date.
Some people like to have convenience store clerks verify their tickets to be sure they don’t make a mistake while checking their numbers. Another option is to use a lottery app to help you keep track of the drawings.
Multiply Your Chances of Winning the Lottery with Second-Chance Games
OK, so your numbers didn’t come up in the drawing. That means it’s time to toss your lottery ticket, right?
Many lotteries offer second-chance drawings on non-winning tickets. Fill out the form on the back, send it in, and you’ll have a bonus chance to be a winner.
On June 8, 2010, a TheBalance Everyday reader reported a big lottery win. She didn’t win because of the numbers she played when she bought the ticket, but because she entered the second-chance game in the Kentucky Lottery.
Her name was randomly drawn as the second-chance winner, and she took home $120,610.70 after taxes.
So don’t give up just because you didn’t win the first time. If your lottery game includes a second-chance drawing, entering could be your ticket to winning.
Someone Else’s Loss Might Be Your Lottery Ticket Win
A lot of people throw out their lottery tickets after a drawing, but that doesn’t mean that the tickets are worthless. Perhaps they didn’t bother to check the numbers, or they checked the wrong drawing or misread the winning numbers.
If you find a discarded lottery ticket, it’s worth taking the time to double-check.
Even if the discarded ticket is a loser, there’s a chance you could still win with it. If there’s a second-chance drawing associated with the lottery game, you can use found tickets to enter, giving you more chances to win.
Take Steps to Secure Winning Lottery Tickets
If you are lucky enough to win the lottery, the last thing you want to do is let the prize slip through your fingers.
To protect yourself, the first thing you should do after you receive a lottery ticket, even before you know whether it’s a winner or not, is to sign it. Your signature on the back of a lottery ticket can help prove it’s yours if it gets lost or stolen.
Also, never hand a ticket to a clerk at a lottery location and ask if you’ve won. Use a computer terminal to determine if you’re a winner, ask the clerk for the winning numbers and verify them yourself, or check online or in newspapers to find the winning numbers. It’s easy for an unscrupulous clerk to pocket your ticket and tell you it was a loser.
If you intend to cash a lottery ticket by mail, make sure you make copies of both sides of the ticket, in case it gets lost in transit.
Win a Bigger Payout by Choosing Rarer Numbers
While it’s impossible to predict which numbers will be chosen in any given lottery drawing, picking certain numbers might have a slight advantage, not for your chances of winning, but for your payout.
If you win a lottery jackpot, there’s a chance you might have to split the payout with other people who picked the same numbers. So all things being equal (in that all numbers are equally likely to be picked), you might as well try to select rarer numbers to improve your odds of keeping more of the pot for yourself.
So how do you know which numbers are rare? Some people try to use statistics to find out which numbers are chosen least often. Others look at combinations that other people tend to avoid, like consecutive numbers. Using a lottery app might help you select and remember numbers to play.
Beware of Lottery Scams
Unfortunately, many scammers try to take advantage of people’s dreams of winning the lottery. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and avoid lottery scams:
- Only buy tickets from authorized lottery retailers.
- It’s not legal to sell lottery tickets across national borders. You can usually buy tickets if you are located in the country, but offers to sell international lottery tickets by mail or online are usually illegal.
- If you didn’t buy a lottery ticket or participate in a second-chance lottery game, you didn’t win.
- The lottery doesn’t notify you when you win; you are responsible for checking your winning tickets.
- You’re never required to pay money up-front to receive a winning lottery prize.