Pick 3 is a lottery game offered multiple times a day by many state lotteries where three single-digit numbers are chosen to determine a winner. Any person who purchased a ticket containing the three drawn numbers, in the exact order they're drawn, wins the jackpot. There are a few other wagers available in Pick 3 games, such as a wheel bet where any combination of three numbers will win, but the odds and payouts remain at a fairly constant ratio throughout the game.
The biggest and most important tip anyone can give you about any lottery game, is that there is no way to beat the system. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something. Picking the correct three numbers, in most Pick 3 games, means that you win $500 for your $1 bet, but it only happens once every 1,000 times. This means that you'll have to spend $1,000 to win that $500. Playing a wheel bet, box bet, combination bet or pair bet all have the same poor payout to odds ratio. The mathematics are sound and as long as the Pick 3 game is truly random, it is impossible to beat. All of the payouts are less than the odds of the event occurring, so there is no long term way to make money playing the lottery. The lottery wouldn't exist if there were. Just play the game for fun, with money you can lose, and hope to get lucky. Thinking any differently is just deluding yourself.
The only time a Pick 3 game can be defeated is when the results aren't truly random. If one or two balls are more likely to pop up because of defects in the manufacturing of the balls, then someone who knows that can profit from it. While you can't rig a system you aren't a part of, you can try to take advantage of these instances, should one ever come up. On your Pick 3, play one or more of the numbers that hit on the previous day, to try and catch a defective ball. The likelihood of this happening is probably less than winning the Powerball jackpot, but if the balls are truly random it doesn't matter which numbers you play anyway.
Picking a set of three favorite numbers isn't a way to beat the game, since there is no way, but it can add some enjoyment, and avoid some heartbreak. Picking numbers that mean something to you, like a significant time or date in your life, can make the Pick 3 game more meaningful to you. Also, always playing the same numbers avoids the pain of seeing the numbers you played yesterday coming up today.
Shawn McClain has spent over 15 years as a journalist covering technology, business, culture and the arts. He has published numerous articles in both national and local publications, and online at various websites. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in journalism at Clarion University.