How many times have you heard someone say, “If only I could win the lottery?”
Is playing the lottery a fool’s errand filled with dashed hopes and dreams? It depends on who you talk to.
There are people who habitually play the lottery at least once a week, hoping for a reversal of fortune. There are others who played it by chance and became millionaires.
The average American spends over $1,000 on lottery games. If you’re going to spend that much on lottery tickets, you better know what the common mistakes are and how to avoid them.
Read on to learn what the top mistakes are when playing the lottery and what you can do to improve your chances of winning a lottery jackpot.
1. You Pick the Wrong Lottery Games
Do you only play one lottery game? Maybe you bet Mega Millions when the jackpot hits over $100 million. That’s when everyone plays, and your odds are lowered as a result.
There are so many different types of lottery games to try. Many states offer Keno, where drawings happen every few minutes.
You can even go online to play lottery games. You’ll find instant win and draw games. Try out a few different games and see which ones you enjoy playing.
Focus on smaller lottery games as much as big ones. You may not win $100 million, but you’re not likely to walk away from a $25,000 win, either.
2. You Play the Same Exact Numbers
Do you swear by the same “lucky” numbers that have yet to produce a winning lottery ticket? A lot of people play the lottery that way.
You’re better off using a quick pick option than playing your numbers out of superstition.
3. You Don’t Analyze Winning Numbers
Some lotteries have numerical patterns. For instance, you might find that a lottery game has more even numbers than odd numbers. You can apply the laws of probability to these patterns.
You may be able to give yourself a slight edge to win the lottery by finding similar patterns and figuring out the best numerical combinations to win.
For example, a lottery ticket of all even numbers has a very low chance of happening. A ticket with two odd numbers and four even numbers has a better chance of winning.
4. You Don’t Have a Money Plan
You probably have dreamed of what you’d spend your winnings on. That’s fine, but do you have an actual plan for your money?
This is what gets most lottery winners in trouble. They don’t know if it’s better to take the lump-sum payment or in annual disbursements.
They also don’t fully understand the tax consequences of winning. The lottery usually withholds a certain percentage for federal taxes, but you may owe more than that.
They also don’t have a plan for their winnings. You should think ahead about what you’d really do if you win. Talk to a financial advisor or accountant to help you think ahead.
5. You Don’t Know the Lottery Schedule
You don’t want to be the person who buys the winning lottery ticket a few minutes too late. There are other people who left winning lottery tickets unclaimed because they didn’t understand the rules to claim winnings.
You want to make sure you know the lottery schedule for drawings and when to buy your ticket. You should read the rules to learn when you have to claim your winnings.
6. You Didn’t Understand the Lottery Rules
You don’t want to play a lottery game to find out that you aren’t eligible to win. Lottery games have different rules, and you should read them before you play.
There are usually rules around residency, where you buy your lottery ticket, and age.
7. You Don’t Play for Entertainment
You can’t go into the lottery store thinking that the winning ticket will solve all of your problems. Playing the lottery is a form of entertainment.
Treat it like your chance to make your mortgage payment, and you’ll find yourself in a really bad financial situation.
8. You Don’t Think You Can Win
Let’s be honest, playing the lottery and winning is a serious longshot. The odds to win the $750 million Powerball jackpot in January 2021 were 1 in 292 million. You had a better chance to get struck by lightning than winning the jackpot.
That doesn’t mean you should talk yourself into losing. You have to believe that you have some chance to win and that anything is possible.
The best mindset is believing that anything can happen and you’re having fun playing lottery games.
9. Your Money Behaviors Don’t Change After You Win
Let’s say that you do win the lottery jackpot. Most lottery winnings are small, so you have to be smart about what this windfall does for your life.
It doesn’t mean that you should go on an immediate spending spree. That’s a sure way to end up bankrupt. If you’ve struggled with money in the past, this is the perfect time to look at your beliefs and behaviors around money.
If you don’t, you’re just going to carry those bad behaviors into your winnings. This is an opportunity to transform your relationship with money. You can also turn your winnings into wealth that lasts longer than the car or home you were planning to purchase.
Playing the Lottery the Smart Way
The reason why billions are spent on lottery games is that there is a small chance you can end up a millionaire. That solves everything, right?
Wrong. Playing the lottery that way is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. This article showed you other common mistakes made when playing lottery games.
Approach buying lottery tickets like fun entertainment. See if you can use strategies to break the probability code. The right mindset will make you a lottery game winner.
For more fun lifestyle tips, be sure to check out the blog today!