How to Improve Your Odds of Winning the Lottery


While it might seem like a product of the same culture that birthed Instagram and the Kardashians, lottery is actually an ancient game with roots in American history as deep as the country itself. It is a government-sanctioned competition with three components for the players: a prize to be won, the chance of winning, and an element of consideration.

Lottery has been used to fund both private and public projects for centuries. In colonial America, for example, lottery games helped finance churches, schools, roads, canals, bridges, and even the Continental Army. The founders of Columbia and Princeton universities owe their start to lotteries, too, as do many of the nation’s most prominent hospitals.

But lotteries aren’t always fair. Research shows that they tend to draw disproportionately from low-income and minority neighborhoods, and that people who play them are more likely to be disengaged from their jobs. And while lottery revenue may swell state coffers, it’s not exactly tax-free.

If you’re looking to improve your odds of winning the lottery, there are a few things you can do. For starters, choose a reliable lottery pool manager and create a contract for everyone to sign that clearly states how the money will be divided. Then track your tickets and purchase only those that you think have a good chance of being winners. And finally, avoid picking numbers that are significant to you or your family members—you’ll be less likely to win if other people have the same idea.