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Good news! How winning the lottery won’t ruin your life

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Hold the schadenfreude, because the so-called curse of the lottery winner is a myth

The myth of the doomed lottery winner, cursed to a life of misery after coming into a windfall of money, is well known.

But not to worry! Should you hit that one-in-several-billion chance to win the big dollars, the myth isn’t true and your life won’t be ruined, at least according to several former lottery winners and other experts.

  • Click here to download CBC Radio’s business and economics show Cost of Living to your podcast player of choice, or find us on the new CBC Listen app.

However if you do win – and remember the chances are infinitesimally small – you might not be quite as set for life as you think.

The Cost of Living talked to a Lotto Max winner to understand the facts and fiction behind getting a big windfall.

What it feels like to win a multi-million dollar jackpot

Randall Rush, of Lamont, Alta., won a $50-million Lotto Max jackpot back in 2015.

“I woke up and it was a Saturday morning,” Rush recalled. “I ran my cat out of food which is not a good thing [since] he’s a 28-pound Maine Coon.”

“It was the very last ticket in the stack,” said Rush, “it just lit up on the screen [saying] it appears you’ve won fifty million dollars. And I went, Oh my! And I just remember turning the lock on on the door and turning to the open sign to closed.”

Rush didn’t work at the store. He just wanted to make sure nobody interrupted.

“That’s the only thing I really remember and then we phoned it in and the adrenaline rush is pretty intense. You could literally die of a heart attack.”

Rush says it took about two years for his emotional high to die down.

Winning comes with major drawbacks

While the $50 million jackpot allowed Rush to immediately retire from his job as a heavy equipment salesman, he felt it also made him a marked man in some respects.

The same year Rush won the lottery he invested millions in a tech startup launched by the son of his then-best-friend. The relationship went south soon after and Randall ended up taking his business partner to court.

Rush has co-authored two books about his negative and positive experiences winning the lottery. The first is called Bloodsuckers, which perhaps tells you how he felt about the experience.

Despite that negative experience, Rush is adamant that winning the lottery remains a positive experience for him — and that it most definitely did not ruin his life.

Debunking the curse of the lotto win

The idea that lottery winners wind-up emotionally broken and financial broke traces back to two sources.

One study published in 1978 talked to a small sample of 22 lottery winners about their everyday happiness.

When compared to a group of traumatic accident survivors and a control group of everyday people, researchers found the lotto winners weren’t much happier.

This study helped plant the seed of the depressed millionaire.

Years later, in 2001, the US-based National Endowment for Financial Education talked windfalls with a panel of experts.

One of those experts apparently said 70 per cent of lottery winners end up bankrupt and that unverified statistic was widely reported.

It was repeated so often the National Endowment put out a press release in 2018 telling media to stop attributing that number to the NEFE because it’s just not true.

If I had a million dollars … it’s not enough

If winning the lottery won’t ruin your life, it’s time to get out your calculator to determine how much money is enough to settle you for the rest of your life.

According to Tim Cestnick, a Toronto-based financial planner and CEO of Our Family Office, one million dollars isn’t enough.

“It used to be that a million dollars … 20, 30, 40 years ago was enough,” said Cestnick.

“Today it’s still a lot of money of course, a million dollars is not easy to come by. But for most people it’s not going to be enough to look after yourself for the rest of your life.”

Over the years, Cestnick has worked with a number of Canadians who have come into major windfalls, whether through lotteries, inheritance or just savvy business practices.

The Cost of Living asked the financial planner to do some quick back-of-the-napkin math, based on a fictional 40-year-old Canadian who earns approximately $71,000 per year and spends most of those earnings annually.

“You know a general guideline is to take your income multiply it by 30,” said Cestnick. “It’s not perfectly accurate but it’s not far off when you do most of the math.”

According to Cestnick, if you had about $70,000 per year in income, you’d need more than $2 million to provide you with that level of income for the rest of your life.

However if you plan to improve your lifestyle by spending more money in the years after you win the lottery, then you’ll need to set aside even more.

Advice for Canada’s newest multi-millionaire

“As tough as it may be, just get out of dodge right away,” said Rush, who suggested heading to a resort.

But the lottery winner also had some cautionary words.

“Don’t think your life won’t change, because whether you like it or not your life has changed. You can’t go back to your job. You see a lot of people say, ‘well you know it’s just business as usual.’ No, sorry, it doesn’t work that way and you need about a year for the dust to settle.”

Written and produced by Tracy Fuller.
Click “listen” above to hear the segment, or download the Cost of Living
podcast.

Your chances of winning may be one in several billion, but be assured major lottery winners aren’t always doomed

Canada Lottery Winning Tips for Lotto Max

Canada Lotto Max Stats

  • Odds: 1 in 33,294,800
  • Jackpot: Minimum $10 million
  • Pick Size: Pick-7
  • Where to Play: Canada
  • How to Play: Choose 7 numbers from 1-50
  • Price: $5 for 3-game play
  • Drawings:Tuesdays and Fridays
  • How to Win: Match all 7 winning numbers
  • Official Website:Canada Lotto Max
  • Advantage Gold History File:CAN0750.slh

About Canada Lotto Max Game

Canada Lotto Max started on September 25, 2009 after Canada’s old Super 7 game ended. The game changed format to add an extra number in May 2019. To play the Lotto Max Canada game, choose 7 numbers from 1-50. The seven winning numbers and a bonus number are drawn. Tickets cost $5 for a three-game play. Drawings are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The jackpot starts at $10 million and increases until there is a winner, or the jackpot reaches $50 million.

When the Lotto Max Jackpot is at or above $50 million, a 7/7 Cap is established. Each $1 million in excess of the 7/7 Cap is drawn as a separate $1 million MAXMILLIONS prize. The max 7/7 Cap for the jackpot is $70 million. For each MAXMILLIONS Draw, seven numbers are drawn from among all numbers from 1 to 50. Players must match all seven numbers drawn to win a MAXMILLIONS prize. If there is more than one winner in a MAXMILLIONS Draw, the MAXMILLIONS prize will be shared among the winners in that draw.

The odds of winning the Lotto Max jackpot are one in 33,294,800 per $5 play. This makes Lotto Max harder to win than Canada’s National Lotto (odds of one in 13,983,816).

Lotto strategies to help you win Canada Lotto Max

Here are a few Lotto Max Canada winning tips on number selection from Gail Howard’s lotto strategy book, Lottery Master Guide, which have been customized for this specific game: Canada Lotto Max 7/50. (Additional best tools for Canada Loteries.)

Lottery numbers are randomly drawn. But randomly drawn numbers form patterns that can be tracked and used to our advantage. Having carefully analyzed all the drawings in past lotto results of more than 180 different Lotto games worldwide, with histories going back as far as 1955, we have verified the following incredibly simple rule:

The key to Smart Luck’s successful lotto number selection methods is playing the probabilities. If you play a pattern that occurs only five percent of the time, you can expect that pattern to lose 95 percent of the time, giving you no chance to win 95 percent of the time. So, don’t buck the probabilities.

The shortest, easiest way to search for lotto numbers that have the greatest probability of winning is to track the trends. Smart Luck strategies show you how to understand and use historical data to your ADVANTAGE!

8 Easy Lotto Number Tips
to Help You Win Canada Lotto Max

ODD-EVEN LOTTO NUMBER TIPS

PLAY: mix of 3 odd/4 even or 4 odd/3 even numbers

When you select your Lotto Max numbers, try to have a relatively even mix of odd and even numbers. All odd numbers or all even numbers are rarely drawn, occurring only one percent of the time. The best mix is to have 3/4 or 4/3, which means three odd and four even, or four odd and three even. One of these two patterns will occur in about 60 percent of drawings.

Advantage Gold: use Chart I to see the current bias for odd/even numbers.

HIGH-LOW LOTTO NUMBER TIPS

PLAY: mix of 3 high/4 low or 4 high/3 low numbers

Winning numbers are usually spread across the entire number field. If we take a number field and cut it in half, we have the low half and the high half. In a 49-number game like Lotto Max Canada, numbers 1 to 25 would be in the low half, and numbers 26 to 49 would be in the high half. All high numbers or all low numbers are rarely drawn, occurring only one percent of the time. The best mix is to have 3/4 or 4/3, which means three high and four low, or four high and three low. Winning number groups with these patterns occur in about 56 percent of all drawings.

Advantage Gold: use Chart H to play more high or low numbers based on the current trend.

LOTTERY NUMBER GROUP STRATEGIES

PLAY: numbers from groups that have been very cold and are just becoming active

Look at a list of past winning numbers for Lotto Max or another game you play, and you’ll see, more often than not, that one or more of the number groups is not represented. For example, in the combination 5-14-17-32-38-42-45, there are no 20’s. Tracking and studying Number Groups can help you decide which group to omit and which group to give extra heavy play.

Advantage Gold: use Chart E to track which group to omit and which to play more heavily.

LOTTERY GAMES SKIPPED STRATEGIES

PLAY: numbers with the most due games out value

List the number of games skipped (games out) since the last hit (win) for each of the winning numbers during the last five games. Then mark the number of times each skip occurred. If any skip from 0 to 5 did not occur, play the lotto numbers that are out that many games. (Help working with lotto games skipped.)

Advantage Gold: use Chart B to quickly find games out information and which numbers are best to play.

LOTTO NUMBER SUM ADVICE – PLAY A BALANCED GAME ®

PLAY: 5 numbers that add up to 141-240

After you choose seven numbers you want to play, add them together and make sure that the sum of the seven numbers adds up to somewhere between 117 and 210. Sums that fall within that range will account for over 70 percent of all lottery jackpots won.

Advantage Gold: use Chart F to see which sums occured most recently, most often, and more.

REPEAT HITS LOTTERY TIPS

PLAY: no more than one number from the last drawing

In Canada Lotto Max 7/50, on average, one lottery number will be a repeat hit from the last drawing 59 percent of the time.

Advantage Gold: use Chart 5 to see which numbers are more likely to become repeat hits.

HOT NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS

PLAY: more numbers that have hit in the past 10 drawings.

Numbers that have been out (losers) for four games or less account for about half of the winning numbers drawn. Losing numbers that have been out ten games or less account for 80 percent of all the winning numbers. This tells us that hot numbers are more likely to hit, but don’t forget to include at least one long shot in your group of 6.

Advantage Gold: use Chart 4 to track the trends and find the hot numbers.

COLD NUMBER LOTTERY SECRETS

PLAY: numbers that are already showing signs of becoming more active.

It is difficult to know when a cold number will end a long losing streak. If you play a number every drawing because you think it is due, you could be chasing it for many months. (Number 45 in New York Lotto sat out 100 drawings before it finally hit.) Although, when a number has been out for 70 games or so, it might be worth chasing.

Advantage Gold: use Chart 4A to see at a glance which numbers are picking up more activity.

Lottery Wheels

USE BALANCED WHEEL ® SYSTEMS

Balanced Wheeling ® Systems allow you to bet a large group of numbers (more than 5), play scientific combinations of that group of numbers, and get a specific minimum win guarantee. Balanced Wheels ® force all the winning numbers that are in your group to come together to give you at least one prize if some or all of the winning numbers are in your chosen group.

It’s true that the more numbers you wheel, the easier it is to trap the winning numbers in your chosen group. But to get the most leverage for your money, the optimum number of numbers to wheel is not more than four or five numbers over HALF the numbers in your game. To win Canada Lotto Max, you should wheel less than about 30 of the 49 total lotto max numbers. Otherwise, you’ll be spending MORE money chasing a SMALLER guaranteed prize. You benefit more by wheeling a carefully selected group of lotto numbers.

THE BEST WAY TO WHEEL ALL THE LOTTO NUMBERS IN YOUR GAME

Any one wheeling system that covers ALL the numbers in the Lottomax game is too spread out, making the win guarantee not worth the wager. There are smart ways to wheel all the numbers in the game by using Trap-by-Overlap and other wheeling strategies covered on pages 137 to 142 in the Lottery Master Guide.

Most of Smart Luck’s lottery winners used a Balanced Wheel ® in addition to her Smart Luck ® number selection methods. You can use a FREE interactive Balanced Wheel ® Lottery System that won multiple lotto jackpots. Read about our lottery winners, too. And when you win a jackpot with Smart Luck lotto systems, tell us about it so you can be added to Gail Howard’s growing list of lottery winners. If you don’t want your name publicized, we will honor that.

Save Money by Knowing Lotto Numbers to Avoid

Lotto players who select their lottery numbers thoughtlessly or foolishly are destined to lose even before the drawing takes place. By knowing which number combinations and patterns to avoid, you’ll have an advantage over such players—and save money, too.

AVOID NUMBER COMBINATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN DRAWN BEFORE

Many players like to bet the numbers that have won someone else a big jackpot, and by doing so, they are almost guaranteed NOT to win one themselves. In Canada LottoMax, with one a week, a set of 7 numbers has a chance of being drawn once every 550,645 years. This should also answer the question we are so often asked, “Shouldn’t I keep playing the same set of numbers every week because they are due to hit sometime?”

AVOID BETTING SEVEN CONSECUTIVE LOTTO NUMBERS

Seven or six consecutive numbers have never been drawn in any state or international lotto game. Smart Luck has all the drawing results for more than 180 state and international lottery games, going back more than fifty years! Even five consecutive numbers is a very rare occurrence that, in most Lotto games, has never happened once.

AVOID BETTING ONE LOTTO NUMBER GROUP

Never choose all seven numbers from one number group, such as all single digits, or all teens, or all 20’s, etc. All 7 winning numbers drawn from one group is highly unlikely.

AVOID THE LOTTO COMBINATION 1-2-3-4-5-6-7

The most popular set of numbers most often played is: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Thousands of tickets are bought with this combination every drawing. The selection is too far out of balance to come up in a random drawing.

AVOID PATTERN BETTING

Pattern betting is an even more popular method of marking bet slips. Patterns of numbers marked in a row to make a straight line, either across the bet slip vertically or diagonally get heavy play—which means sharing the prize with others if the numbers are drawn as winners. Other designs such as patterns of initials or numbers or crosses also get heavy play.

AVOID NUMBER MULTIPLES

Other popular combinations that get heavy play are the number multiples, especially 5-10-15-20-25-30-35 and 7-14-21-28-35-42-49.

AVOID ALL SAME LAST DIGITS

Many people like to play same last digits, such as 3-13-23-33-43, or all digits that end in seven, or some other favorite lucky lottery number. Even four same last digits occur in less than two-tenths of one percent of all drawings. Winning sets of numbers with three last digits the same occur in less than 3 percent of all drawings. Winning sets of numbers with no more than one repeated last digit represent nearly 90 percent of all drawings.

AVOID LOW NUMBER COMBINATIONS

The majority of Lotto players like to play the calendar numbers, such as birth dates and anniversaries—and their children’s ages. This means that the most heavily played numbers are 1 through 31. Canada Lotto Max 7/50 has 49 numbers. If you play only the calendar numbers, you might be sharing your jackpot with dozens of other winners. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t play your personal numbers if you feel these lucky numbers are good to play. But we recommend that you include a couple of high numbers so that just in case your numbers do hit, you win a prize that’s worth something.

NIX LOTTO QUICK PICKS

Quick Picks are used by lazy people who want to be in the action without putting any effort into winning. When you read articles about jackpot winners, it appears as though they all used either Quick Picks, birth dates, or their children’s ages. The vast majority of people do play that way. If the majority of tickets sold are Quick Picks, then it makes sense that the majority of jackpots won should be won with Quick Picks. However, when you see the actual statistics, as we did, you’ll find that you have a better chance of winning by picking numbers randomly out of a hat than by using Quick Picks.

Win with Lotto Software and Books

See all Smart Luck lotto software and lottery books or the full lottery product guide and list of best Canada lottery software and books to use for Canada Lotto Max or other Canadian lotteries.

How to Get the Winning Lotto Numbers

Strategy Software

Advantage Gold software makes all the charts for this game, to automate the process of choosing the best numbers to play.

Lottery Wheels Can Beat Lotto Odds

After you choose the best numbers with number strategies, you can improve your odds of winning larger prizes by using lotto wheeling systems. It’s simple, easy as A-B-C to wheel pick-7 lotto numbers using the Balanced Wheels in the Wheel Six Gold lottery software. You get a minimum win guarantee with every wheel!

Lottery Pools and Lottery Syndicates

POOL YOUR WAY TO LOTTO RICHES

Several of the 109 Lotto jackpots won with Smart Luck lottery systems were won by groups of people who pooled their money. Sharing the ticket cost with others stretches your Lotto budget. By playing with a group, you can afford to buy more lottery tickets—and play larger wheeling systems—than you could (or should) by yourself. Draw up an agreement and have the members of your pool sign it.

How to Get Lucky in Lotto

CASH IN ON THE LUCK OF OTHERS

When you form a lotto pool, your group is also pooling its aggregate luck. A jackpot could happen because of the luck just one member brings to your pool. Select your partners carefully. Share your luck with winners, not losers. Avoid negative people. Not only are they unlucky, but they dampen enthusiasm and drain energy from others. You want to enhance your own luck, not dilute its strength. One quick way to tell winners from losers is simply to ask them: “Do you think you are a lucky person?” Many people quickly admit, “I’m unlucky. I never win anything.” They won’t bring good luck to your group either.

CASH IN ON A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

No one should play games of chance out of desperation because they need the winnings. The needy have a greater fear of losing the hard-earned money they gamble with. It is just one of life’s dirty tricks that the very fear of losing blocks the winning forces. Thoughts are charged with energy, especially when triggered by emotion. Fear attracts exactly that which one fears. A strong desire for a goal that is charged with positive energy, attracts a positive response, especially when every effort is made to attain that goal.

Canada Lottery Winning Tips for Lotto Max Canada Lotto Max Stats Odds: 1 in 33,294,800 Jackpot: Minimum $10 million Pick Size: Pick-7 Where to Play: Canada ]]>