Well -- six numbered and air propelled ping-pong balls may have given someone out there over $213 million after taxes. We don't yet know if anyone won tonight's near-record powerball drawing. We do... See More
Well -- six numbered and air propelled ping-pong balls may have given someone out there over $213 million after taxes. We don't yet know if anyone won tonight's near-record powerball drawing. We do know that few things capture the american imagination like instant wealth, despite incredibly long odds. And as abc's john donvan discovered today, that dream gives rise to some strange and unusual strategies in purr suit of the prize. Next in line please! Reporter: In this year of big jackpots, it got big again. So, that tonight, it was in the third of a billion dollar range, $320 million when they picked the numbers. Get ready, everybody. This is powerball. Reporter: Hitting that jackpot? 1 in 175 million. Crazy way to put that in conte context, try this. Your are 28 times as likely to be killed by bees. Which is why you need a system. And at this washington, d.C. Liquor store, where the ticket-buying traffic was steady this after, everybody who came in and picked their own numbers came with a system. She did. I d certain numbers, like, favorite numbers and parts of my old address. Reporter: So did he. I just pick my birthday and, because my birthday's coming up. Reporter: And him. I did birthdays. Reporter: Hmm, the birthday system seemed to get a lot of use. My mother's birthday, one of my sibling, my dad. Reporter: Phillip jones says he's phone a few others. License plate. Anniversaries. Any combination of numbers they can think of, people will use. Reporter: Then, jones told me, there is the look around the store for random numbers system. Yeah, 42, 46, 35. Reporter: Hmm. Picking numbers off the shelves. There's got to be some more similar matic system, right? We went in chur search of winning strategies, some well worn, some just weird, to find out what works. Number one, trying to find a lucky number other than your birthday -- hit the web. There are over 5 million websites offering to cook up that core mick combination for you. Just hit a button, and an instant and totally random lot toe number. But perhaps you're in the market for something more personal. That's where celebrity numerolog numerologists come in. She's been studying numbers for over two decades. She says each of us have our own life path number which we could always rely on. Helps us get a sense of our life purpose. You take the full date of birth and reduce it to one digit. Reporter: To determine your life path number. Write down your birth date in number form. SAY, JULY 3rd, 1962. And then addhe numbers in the sum you get and then add those numbers togetherd again. A person born on that date is a 1 life path. Reporter: If 1 is your life path, she says, 1 should definitely be in your lot toe picks. Overall, she says, those with life path 5 tend to win the lottery. Five is the number that says, let's gamble. Let's take a chance. Reporter: Perhaps you prefer something more concrete. Be a math genius. Remember the group portrayed in the movie "21," about a profess is 0or an his star pupils tha famously look las vegas casinos. Seems like another group of m.I.T. Students stumbled upon a winning answer, figuring out how to crack the massachusetts lot toe game cash windfall. They figured out the game was susceptible to something called high volume betting. According to the massachusetts inspector general's office, over seven years, the group made a profit of at least $3.5 million. If you are not aath genius, there's always the zhaoo. That's right. Consider consulting a gorilla. A columbus zoo gorilla correctly picked last year's ncaa final four, including the winner, connecticut. Our "good morning america" crew tried to get her to double down, guessing this spring's megamillions number, but it looks like her luck has officially run out. Maybe the real trick is not to follow your animal instincts. Do not play quick picks. Reporter: And he would know. He's hit the jack ppot seven times and says, never let the machine pick the number. Above all, he says, commit to your numbers and stick with your strategy. You have to learn what numbers to play and how off to play them. Reporter: So, okay, he's inspired me. But my strategy, not to precise. I'm trying the picking numbers from store shelves approach. Why not? And so, I did. One number to the right, one to the left, one up high, one down low. And so on. And what that gave me when i paid my $2? 10, 11, 20, 33, 49 and 8. And we're going to round it out tonight with the number 51. Reporter: Versus the winning numbers -- oh, well. Might need to go to m.I.T. Because I'm not going to the gori I'm john donvan for "nightline" in washington.
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