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With Powerball jackpot near record levels, here’s how to play and how some say to win

It’s been 25 years and you still haven’t won the Texas Lottery? Watch the first drawing in 1992

It's not that you're not lucky, just that you haven't been lucky... yet. Take a trip down memory lane and watch the Texas Lottery's very first drawing on November 14, 1992.
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It's not that you're not lucky, just that you haven't been lucky... yet. Take a trip down memory lane and watch the Texas Lottery's very first drawing on November 14, 1992.

The Powerball lottery jackpot keeps growing. The drawing for March 27 hit $750 million, making it the fourth-largest Powerball drawing ever, according to a press release from the lottery.

The cash option for Wednesday’s drawing is estimated to be about $465.5 million, the press release said.

Here’s how Powerball explains how to play:

  • Each play costs $2
  • Select numbers from 1 to 69 for each of the five white balls
  • Pick a number from 1 to 26 for the red Powerball
  • Players can choose their own numbers “or let the lottery terminal randomly pick your numbers”
  • For an additional $1 players can add a multiplier to increase non-jackpot winnings

The jackpot is the big goal, but players can win from $4 to $2 million depending on which combination of balls they guess correctly.

The odds of winning the grand prize are about one in 292 million, but Powerball says about about one in every 25 plays will win something, even if it is $4.

Lotto officials do caution players not to get carried away.

“Powerball dreams are viral,” New Mexico Lottery CEO and Powerball Product Group Chairman David Barden said in a press release. “It’s easy to get excited about such a life changing jackpot. Just remember, it only takes one $2 ticket for a chance to win. Please, play responsibly and only spend what you can afford.”

If the record-breaking Powerball jackpot has you dreaming of how you would spend the winnings — you are not alone. But where you live plays a big role in how much of the prize you would get to keep.

There have only been three other Powerball jackpots higher than Wednesday’s total. The record is a $1.586 billion “shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January 2016, the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October, and the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot won in Massachusetts in August 2017,” according to the press release.

There are plenty of tips out there for people who want to win the lottery, including a man named Richard Lustig who made the rounds a couple years ago after his seventh lotto win. He wrote a book with tips on how to win the lottery that was met with mixed reviews and healthy skepticism, according to Business Insider.

Lustig’s tips, according to Forbes, boil down to essentially playing consistently and buying more tickets (within financial limits) to increase your odds from, say, one in 292 million to 100 in 292 million.

Did you win the lottery? Congratulations! It's time to keep a low profile and think about what to do with the money. These steps may help you!

Business Insider, criticizing Lustig’s 40-page book sold in Amazon’s self-help section, did say he had a couple tips that made sense: “For example, retaining losing lottery tickets to offset potentially taxable wins. This is true in all forms of gambling: You can’t deduct losses, but you can use losses to offset gains, thus reducing your tax liability in the unlikely event you win more than you lose in a given year.”

A statistics professor Business Insider spoke to did have this tip to add: “Select numbers higher than 31. While that won’t increase your odds of winning - nothing will - at least if you do win, you’re less likely to split the pot with others. That’s because so many people play their birthdays.”

NJ.com also had a tongue-in cheek set of tips for how to pick winning numbers, which include throwing darts at a dartboard, asking random animals to help pick numbers, or selling all your possessions to buy as many tickets as possible.

The site’s columnist also had this important tip to play the office lotto pool. “Sure, it increases your odds of winning. But more important than that, how stupid would you feel if your office pool won the lottery and you didn’t buy in? I don’t consider the five bucks I just threw my coworker an entry into the lottery pool, I consider it insurance against what would be the biggest regret of my life.”

Lottery ticket purchasers talk about what they would do if they won the $1.5 billion-plus Powerball lottery.

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