How One Man Became a Serial Lottery Winner

• Star
WATCH Meet Richard Lustig

How does one person win the lottery again and again? Richard Lustig says he knows.

In "Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery," Lustig -- who has won the grand prize seven times -- shares the strategy he calls "the winning lottery method."

It's a formula that he says has earned him more than \$1 million.

"[Playing the lotto is] like any investment. You have to invest money to get something out of it," says Lustig, 59, a former singer and drummer from Florida.

"Most people buy a \$1 ticket and win \$10 and they put the \$10 in their pocket," says Lustig. Those people are playing the game wrong. Instead, he says, if you win \$10, then you should buy \$11 worth of tickets because "if you lose, you only lost a \$1."

The process earned him \$98,000 after he played the Fantasy 5 game in Florida. "I use lottery money all the time to buy more tickets," says Lustig.

It's also the method that won him his biggest prize, more than \$842,000 in 2002. The first prize he took home was in 1992, for \$10,000. With hospital bills coming in from the birth of his son, the winnings couldn't have come at a better time.

Before then, Lustig says he spent most of the time losing before deciding there had to be a way to improve your chances. For him, playing the lottery is similar to a full job. It's a daily process that involves dedicating hours to the game.

"I don't guarantee or make promises to anybody that by following my method you're going to win the lottery," says Lustig. "I'm not a scam artist. I'm telling people exactly the truth -- that they will definitely increase their chances of winning" using his lottery method.

After developing the method over the years and selling thousands of copies of his report, Lustig decided to write a 40-page book explaining his formula. The game of chance, or what some call luck, is what Lustig addresses in his book currently ranked #3 on Amazon's self-help book list.

A self-described "gambler," Lustig loves playing blackjack in Las Vegas. "If you play the game properly you have a better than normal chance of winning most of the time," Lustig said on the season finale of TLC's "The Lottery Changed My Life," which airs on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

Unlike some lottery winners who have been through tragedy and misfortune after hitting it big, Lustig says there has been no downside to his winning streak. "I'm very fortunate to have a great family," says Lustig. In his close-knit family, family members do not have to ask for money, Lustig happily divvies it out.

His gifts to himself include a \$25,000 Harley Davidson, an \$80,000 Jaguar and a \$350,000 house with a custom-designed library.

The talent booker also invests a portion of his earnings. "With the economy, I would have been better off stuffing that money into a mattress," says Lustig. "I'm a savvy person when it comes to money. I spread my investments out."

While he says there's no way to keep track of the amount of tickets he buys each year, Lustig averages 3 to 6 visits a year to the Florida lottery office. He's become a familiar face at the office where winners go to cash in.

Advice for fellow lottery players: "Don't throw your tickets away. If you win enough money you can write off the cost of your losing tickets against the taxes you pay on your winnings," Lustig said on TLC. He also advises winners to be careful because all taxes are not necessarily taken out when winnings are paid out.

"If you're going to play lottery games try to use some common sense," says Lustig. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the more you play the better chances you have a winning."

His best advice: "Don't spend more than you can afford."