In a struggling economy everyone is looking for a little hope. Could the Mega Millions jackpot, now at an estimated award of $500 million, be your $1 shot at financial freedom?
This global record jackpot is attracting millions to this cheap entertainment that sparks million dollar dreams. And when those dreams are just a lottery ticket away, we all want to know: how can I make my chances of hitting that jackpot better? Or is it pure and simple luck?
Let’s start with how the game is played.
The Mega Millions lottery is a multi-jurisdictional lottery game. Each lottery ticket cost $1.
The game is played in 42 jurisdictions, including Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. As a result, the jackpot often grows very quickly from its $12 million dollar starting point to eye-popping hundreds of millions.
Last year (2011) alone there were two record jackpots over $300 million.
In its most basic form, the Mega Millions lottery is played by choosing five numbers (White Balls) from 56 potential numbers and then choosing one Gold MEGA ball number from 1 to 46.
That means to walk away with $500 million you need to pick correctly all six numbers drawn on March 30, 2012.
Can I Win the Mega Millions Jackpot?
The MEGA question is: “Is there a winning strategy?”
Mathematicians will tell you very clearly that the odds are against you.
Calculating the statistical probabilities, of you guessing not only the right 5 numbers out of the 56 white balls and also the correct single number out of the 46 Gold MEGA balls, will put your chances at 1 in 176 million.
Perspective? That’s roughly equivalent to the odds of the Chicago Cubs winning the next five World Series. Any Cubs fans want to sign up for that bet?
However, there are some patterns that might hint at probable strategies.
Matthew Vea, an Army reservist and software engineer, has been tracking and calculating the probabilities inherent in the numbers drawn in the playing of the Mega Millions lottery.
Here’s the skinny…
If you want to pick the most frequent numbers that are drawn, grab 48, 36, and 53. If you want to pick the numbers that have a hot streak, grab 36, 29, and 6. But, be mindful to avoid 41, 48, and 49, which are the least frequent numbers.
If you want to go with a strategy that gets you most of the way to the six most common combinations, look at these top three quadruples:
1, 4, 6, 11
1, 4, 6, 14
1, 6, 11, 14
Unfortunately, before you think you have the key to the millions take a look at the winning numbers from the last drawing on March 27, 2012: 9, 19, 34, 44, 51, 24.
Notably absent are all of those most probable strategic numbers.
What Do I Do If I Win the Lottery?
To avoid being a complete killjoy, let’s just assume you do win tomorrow–what should you do?
First and foremost, take a deep breath, find a secluded place, and scream your head off. You just won half-a-billion dollars!
Now, get control of yourself and think clearly about your next steps.
Sign the back of the ticket. This will help ensure you are the only one that can claim your ticket in the case it is misplaced.
Make a photocopy, if possible, and in all cases put it in a safe place.
Find a good attorney and financial adviser and avoid updating your Facebook status with, “I just won the lottery.” This is most likely a radical change in your economic status. It’s only smart to surround yourself with wise counsel.
Having taken these prudent first steps, it’s time to go collect your millions and carefully manage the many other decisions that are about to confront you as a new millionaire.
And, of course, at Quizzle, we’d recommend paying off any debt that’s hurting your credit! You might be cash strong overnight, but that doesn’t mean your credit will skyrocket too. And just because you can, it doesn’t mean it is the best idea to go out and buy your dream home in cash. You should still monitor your credit and check mortgage rates like anyone else!!
Winning the Mega Millions jackpot could be an unbelievable long shot, but for a chance at half-a-billion dollars can you afford to skip on $1 of entertainment…and hope!
P.S. If you win make sure you let us know.