Americans spend upwards of $100 billion on lottery tickets each year, making it the country’s most popular form of gambling. But what if that money could be better spent on something more worthwhile? If you’re planning on buying a ticket, make sure to keep it somewhere safe and double-check the date of the drawing before you go to bed. And in the rare chance that you win, don’t count on it being a windfall – your winnings will likely be taxed to the point that they’re no longer worth what you paid for them.
Lottery officials have tried to defray some of that regressivity by promoting the lottery as a game, but this just obscures the fact that it’s not really an entertainment option. If you talk to people who play the lottery regularly — people who buy tickets for $50 or $100 a week — they’re clear-eyed about the odds and understand that it’s not just about buying a few extra zeroes in their bank account.
They know that they have to choose the numbers carefully, and many players look to family birthdays, especially those ending in seven, as their lucky number. But, according to a former player who won the lottery twice, you should avoid selecting numbers that end in the same digit or relying on numbers from the same group of numbers. Instead, try to cover a broad range of the available pool. In doing so, you’ll have a greater chance of getting numbers that are close to the winning combinations.