Buy the correct tickets. Some "match style" or "tic-tac-toe" scratch off tickets are marked with a kind of code you can learn to recognize. Look for the kind of ticket on which you must match "3 in a row" from a given group of amounts. Typically, the outside of the aluminum coating will be marked with seemingly "random" numbers you scratch off to reveal amounts on the inside. If, on a given ticket, game space, you get three $100 amounts, you win the amount listed.

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With all this talk about the odds against winning and how much money is wasted on lottery tickets, one may forget that people do win the jackpot once in a great while. Every now and then, we read about someone who won a huge jackpot of a few hundred million dollars and how he or she is planning on retiring, buying a new car, or giving a percentage to a favorite charity.

Buy the correct tickets. Some "match style" or "tic-tac-toe" scratch off tickets are marked with a kind of code you can learn to recognize. Look for the kind of ticket on which you must match "3 in a row" from a given group of amounts. Typically, the outside of the aluminum coating will be marked with seemingly "random" numbers you scratch off to reveal amounts on the inside. If, on a given ticket, game space, you get three $100 amounts, you win the amount listed.


Still not deterred from buying a few lottery tickets? You aren’t alone. Millions of people buy lottery tickets every week and don’t expect to win anything back; it’s just a game to them. Heck, I even buy a lottery ticket once in a while, just for kicks. But I never expect to actually win the jackpot, and I would never spend money I don’t have to try to beat such grand odds.
To illustrate this point, let’s say an average lottery player spends $5 per week on Powerball tickets. That’s $20 each month or $240 spent on lottery tickets every year. This person buys lottery tickets every month of every year for 25 years, as my grandfather did throughout his adult life. The amount spent on lottery tickets over a lifetime is $6,000, which surely could have been put to better use. Instead, that $6,000 disappeared, and never won any jackpot big enough to cover the player’s expenses.
One example of this was the Missouri Lottery's promotion in the daily Pick 3. Normally a player has a 1/1000 chance of winning a $600 prize, making a $1 ticket worth only $0.60. The promotion was to draw a second winning combination on one randomly selected day of the week. Originally, the drawing to determine whether the bonus would occur that day held six white balls and one orange, but on the last day of the week, all six white balls had been removed, leaving only the orange ball and ensuring a double drawing on the last day. [4] This doubled the value of tickets for that drawing and converted them from an expected 40 percent loss to a 20 percent gain. See table 1 below for how the expected value varied that week.

Pa Lottery Winning Numbers


2 Power Play Prize Amount - A Power Play Match Five (5 + 0) prize is set at $2,000,000 regardless of the Power Play number selected. All other non-Grand prizes will be multiplied by the Power Play number selected.* Beginning with the October 7, 2015 drawing, prize tiers 3 - 9 will be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times when the Power Play feature is purchased.* The 10X Power Play multiplier will be available for drawings in which the initially advertised annuitized Grand Prize amount is $150 million or less. Click here to view the Power Play prize chart.
Find the expected value. This is a good idea for any lottery game you are considering playing. The expected value refers to the probability of any one outcome, assuming all outcomes are equally probable. Here, the expected value calculates the value of the ticket, if the game was set up fairly so that the revenue gained from the losing tickets would match the winners' profits.
One example of this was the Missouri Lottery's promotion in the daily Pick 3. Normally a player has a 1/1000 chance of winning a $600 prize, making a $1 ticket worth only $0.60. The promotion was to draw a second winning combination on one randomly selected day of the week. Originally, the drawing to determine whether the bonus would occur that day held six white balls and one orange, but on the last day of the week, all six white balls had been removed, leaving only the orange ball and ensuring a double drawing on the last day. [4] This doubled the value of tickets for that drawing and converted them from an expected 40 percent loss to a 20 percent gain. See table 1 below for how the expected value varied that week.

Players can either choose their own six numbers (five regular and one Powerball) or have the computer terminals randomly pick numbers for them. If every number on your ticket matches the winning numbers in the order they are drawn, you win the jackpot prize. There are also smaller prizes if you only have some of the correct numbers. Each ticket costs the player $1.


Buying lottery tickets for fun once in a while won’t break the bank. Playing with money you don’t have, or that you will need later on, however, is a recipe for disaster. For those who decide to play responsibly, the good news is that a portion of the money that goes towards state lotteries is used for education and children’s programs. The only responsible way to play the lottery is to do so occasionally for fun, without any expectation of winning. When it turns into something else, you know it’s time to stop.

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