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How to increase your chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot

With a $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night, lottery players across the country are no doubt looking for any edge they can get.

Disclaimer: Your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, no matter which numbers you pick or where you buy your tickets.

Mathematicians say the simplest way to increase your odds is to buy more tickets.

Think about it: Two tickets give you twice the chance (though your odds are still minimal), and buying 100 million tickets would give you a 100 million chances (but you could still lose, and lose $200 million in the process).

Whatever you do, don’t overspend.

Mega Millions reminds players that gambling can be addictive and very damaging.

The information below is presented solely for entertainment purposes only, and the E.W. Scripps Co. is not responsible for any losses incurred by using the following tips.

Most Frequently Drawn Numbers

The website LottoNumbers.com has analyzed all 2,235 Mega Millions draws since the first draw on September 6, 1996, and determined which Mega Millions numbers have been drawn most frequently. Mega Millions picks numbers from two pools: the first five are drawn from numbers 1 through 70, and the last ball is drawn from 1 through 25. To win the jackpot, you must pick all six winning numbers.

The most-frequently drawn Mega Millions numbers are:

  • 2 – drawn 219 times
  • 17 – drawn 218 times
  • 31 – drawn 218 times
  • 39 – drawn 214 times
  • 4 – drawn 212 times
  • 46 – drawn 212 times

The website also has a list on the most “overdue” numbers – the numbers which have gone the longest without being drawn:

  • 36 – last picked 153 days ago
  • 55 – last picked 146 days ago
  • 58 – last picked 146 days ago
  • 5 – last picked 132 days ago
  • 37- last picked 129 days ago
  • 50 – last picked 108 days ago

As any roulette player knows –a number being picked more or less frequently has no bearing on the likelihood it will be picked next. Statistically, every number has the same chance of being drawn next.

‘Luckiest’ Lottery Vendors

Ohio has had 19 Mega Millions jackpot winners since 2003, according to lottery officials. Officials provided the following list of the Cleveland-area stores that have sold a jackpot-winning ticket, who won and how that ticket was sold:

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2013: $41 million winning ticket sold at Deli 4 Less, Westlake. Manual pick ticket. This prize was claimed in trust by John P. Thomas, trustee of The March Madness Trust. The ticket holder chose the cash option.
  • Friday, Aug. 5, 2011: $99 million jackpot prize sold at Speedway in Jefferson, OH. The win was claimed by a work pool from KraftMaid in Middlefield. Auto pick ticket. The group chose the cash option.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010: $25-million jackpot prize sold at Marc’s #67 in Broadview Heights, OH. The win was claimed by the Gravina Island Trust, Matthew F. Kadish, trustee. Auto pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Friday, Jan. 6, 2006. $15 million jackpot sold at Chuck’s Carryout, Norwalk. Winning ticket claimed by Providence Blind Trust, John E. Rosino, trustee. Manual pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Friday, June 3, 2005. Emery Food Mart, Warrenville Heights. $106 million jackpot prize claimed by The Kevin G. Robertson Declaration of Trust, Kevin G. Robertson, trustee. Auto pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003. Rebecca Jones-Jemison of South Euclid wins $162 million. Ticket purchased at Quick Shop Food Mart, South Euclid. Manual pick ticket. The winner chose the cash option.

Tips from a Lottery Winner

One of the biggest lottery authorities is Richard Lustig, the Florida man who claims he won seven lottery jackpots. He is now getting rich — not from lotteries — but from his book, “Learn to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.”

If you don’t want to spend the money for his book, he has some basic suggestions:

  • Play the same numbers every drawing (but read why some experts say this is bad advice).
  • Never buy fewer than 10 tickets.
  • If they are random numbers, buy them in a row and from the same machine.
  • Set a budget, and do not exceed it, no matter how big the drawing.
  • Never spend your rent or grocery money on tickets.

However, it is now easier than ever to go over budget, due to more and more states accepting credit cards.

Until recently you had to line up in a convenience store and bring plenty of cash with you to buy a ticket. But states are now making it easier than ever to buy tickets, by allowing you to buy them with a credit card, minus the line.

WCPO’s John Matarese contributed to this report.

With a $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs Tuesday night, lottery players across the country are no doubt looking for any edge they can get.

How do I win the lottery? 11 tips to win Mega Millions and Powerball

The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are now at a combined and beyond monstrous total of nearly $600 million, with the Powerball jackpot at $550 million alone. That’s more than enough to grab the attention not only of the typical dreamers who get swindled into buying lottery tickets but also the general public. Everyone is talking about the lotto.

But how do you win it? We could break down the mathematical odds of actually getting the winning ticket — something along the lines of getting hit by five bolts of lightning at the same time while being attacked by a shark at the Jersey Shore while simultaneously finding a New Jersey native who thinks Bruce Springsteen and Taylor ham are both “just okay” (The Washington Post says the odds are actually one in about 300 million).

But forget about that. I’m going to show you, right now in plain New Jersey English, how to win the lottery.

Just buy a ticket

You’ve got to play to win, right? Gotta be in it to win it? You miss 100 percent of the lottery tickets you don’t buy? I forget what the official slogan is, but yeah. Buy a ticket. Sources close to the situation (no, not “The Situation,” he’s going to jail) tell NJ Advance Media that buying a lottery ticket is the best way to win the lottery. Kind of like how buying a ticket to a Giants game is the best way to assure yourself disappointment.

And if you do buy a ticket, well, here are the ‘luckiest’ numbers.

Play in an office pool

You can increase your odds of winning by banding together with your coworkers and pooling your money to buy as many tickets as possible. Sure, you’re cutting into how much your winnings will be, but it’s a fun experience for the whole office (except the poor schlub who has to organize the whole thing). And even if you don’t participate in the pool, chances are if the office wins you have at least one work friend willing to lend you a few grand.

God. Jesus. Adonai. Allah. Oprah. Whoever you consider your personal messiah, get on the prayer phone and uh, say your prayers. Because while we all have different religions, I’m pretty sure a universal principle of all of the them is that our god wants us to buy a piece of paper that will grant us more money than our great-great-great-great grandchildren will know what to do with. I think I read that in the Bible. Thou shalt not steal, but thou shalt swing by the 7-Eleven to grab a Slurpee, some corn nuts and a life-affirming lottery ticket.

Force luck onto your side

The odds of winning the Powerball are one in 292 million. So you’re going to have to get a little bit lucky to do it! You may feel like a lucky person naturally, but it can’t hurt to give yourself a little boost.

A lucky rabbit’s foot? How about 10? Get 10 of them and shove ‘em in your pockets. Wear a horseshoe around your neck? Nah, put those bad boys in your shoes. Go to the bank and withdraw your life savings in lucky pennies. I’m sure the teller will love that. Avoid ladders, cracks in the sidewalk, black cats and broken mirrors at all costs.

But those are just American traditions. You have to be the luckiest person in the world to win this thing, so let’s get international. In Denmark, people throw broken dishes at their friends’ houses for good luck. In Spain, they eat a dozen grapes and wear red underwear. Apparently Russia originated the idea that getting pooped on by a bird is good luck, so feed some birds and hang around until the lucky poop starts flying.

Consult a fortune cookie

Fortune cookie fortunes are typically generic platitudes that won’t be much help in this situation. But the lucky numbers that come on the back? Now we’re on to something! Who knows how they’re generated, but they might be the winners. Worth a shot, right? And if nothing else, at least you got a cookie.

Make a wish

When you wish upon a star, you have a chance at a billion dollars. That’s how the Disney song goes, right? Maybe not, but wish. Wish upon a star. Throw pennies in a wishing well. Find a genie and use all three wishes on winning the lottery. Make a wish and hijack someone’s lit birthday candles. You get the picture. Start wishing.

Buy ALL the tickets

How many tickets do you have to buy to win the lottery? How about all of them. Okay, this one only applies to billionaires, but what an investment strategy! There are more than 600 million combined Powerball and Mega Millions number combinations, and tickets are two dollars each. That’s $1.2 billion in play money. Play all the numbers and you win $2.2 billion. Even after taxes you still swing a profit of several-hundred million dollars (we think). Not a bad day.

Ask Donald Trump for advice

President Donald Trump famously said back in 2016 before he was elected that, “we’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” I don’t know if he meant winning the lottery, but no one really ever knows what he means, do they? Worth a shot. He won the presidency, he can probably win this stupid thing, right?

Build a time machine

“Back To The Future” was a classic film, and Dr. Brown probably had no idea the lottery would ever reach into the billions, but the DeLorean would really come in handy right about now. Jump ahead to after the drawing, find the winning numbers, come back time and pick those winning numbers. Easy! Just watch out for Biff and make sure your parents still meet.

Use “The Secret”

Maybe the secret to winning the lottery is “The Secret.” The 2006 self-help book suggests that thinking about things makes them appear in one’s life. So when you think about all the ways you’re going to spend the money you’re thinking about winning, you’re actually helping yourself get closer to that goal? Awesome.

Put your money in the bank

The bank is the opposite of the lottery. You’re not throwing money away in the hopes of winning a massive amount of cash. You’re putting money away knowing you won’t make much money, but knowing that you can’t lose it.

Because what’s the best way to win the lottery? Don’t play the lottery. It’s a sucker bet. You’re getting played! The more the jackpot goes up, the more people talk about it, the more people play, the worse your odds get to actually win the money everyone is talking about. You probably think that now is the best time to play the lottery because the payout is so high. But it’s actually the worst time because the pool of entrants is so large

So every time you have the impulse to get in on the lottery hysteria, throw another two bucks in your savings account. At worst, you’ve saved yourself a little scratch. At best, you’re developing sound financial habits! Your mom would be so proud. That, my friends, is how you win the lottery.

Jeremy Schneider may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com’s newsletters.

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How do I win the lottery? 11 tips to win Mega Millions and Powerball The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are now at a combined and beyond monstrous total of nearly $600 million, with the