Against the Odds: Strategies to Take Home $300 Million Powerball Jackpot

The odds of picking the winning Powerball ticket are one in 175 million.

August 03, 2013, 10:35 AM

Aug. 3, 2013— -- The odds of picking the winning Powerball ticket might be one in 175.2 million, but that doesn't stop jackpot junkies across the country from employing their own superstitious tactics in hopes of matching the six lucky numbers.

With the Powerball drawing set at $300 million this evening, thousands of lottery players are hoping luck is on their side when it comes to holding the golden ticket.

Both lottery officials and mathematicians said every Powerball ticket has the same chance of winning.

Still, jackpot-hopefuls have cited selection strategies like using the birthdates of loved ones or putting their fortune in the hands of a Quick Pick drawing to be crowned the game's newest multi-millionaire.

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Nearly 80 percent of all ticket buyers let the computer do the picking, and with good reason – more Powerball winners have relied on randomization to ensure their success.

The multi-state lottery's most recent winner, 84-year-old Gloria C. Mackenzie of Zephyrhills, Fla., took home the whopping $590 million jackpot in June thanks to computer-generated numbers.

"While in line at Publix another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket," she said in a statement, according to Florida lottery officials.

READ MORE About Powerball Record Winner Gloria Mackenzie

Mackenzie opted for the lump sum cash payout of $370.8 million before taxes, instead of 30 annual payments of $19 million, according to lottery spokeswoman Cynthia O'Connell.

As the prize skyrockets to astronomical possibilities, aspiring millionaires might turn to drastic measures to up the ante.

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Some players tempt fate by crossing state borders to purchase a ticket from a so-called luckier location, lining up at gas stations and convenience stores where winning tickets have been drawn in the past.

But even though Indiana may hold the record for the most Powerball jackpots – coming in at a whopping 38 – and Pennsylvania, Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky round out the top five, it's not worth the extra gas.

READ: Powerball Pools: The Do's and Don'ts of Office Buy-Ins

These states have merely been playing the multi-state lottery the longest.

While Californians might despair that no winning ticket has been drawn there, there's always a chance this time around. Residents were able to buy their first in-state tickets in April after California's lottery commission voted unanimously to join the Powerball game last November.

Looking for a lucky day of the week to win?

Although 60 percent of past winners bought their tickets on the day of the drawing, experts say there's no tell-tale sign day of purchase will make you a winner as ticket sales tend to spike on the day of the drawing and especially within the final hours of sales.

If you're counting down the hours until tonight's drawing, keep calm. If you've picked a winner, you're only six numbers away from multimillions and a media frenzy to boot.

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