How to Win Playing Powerball

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Powerball is a lottery game that is played in 30 states, as well as Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands. If you match five numbers and the special Powerball number, you win a multi-million-dollar jackpot that varies, depending on how many tickets have been sold. There are eight other number combinations that pay progressively lower amounts. The odds against winning the jackpot are high, but you can use some strategies to boost your chances of getting at least one of the nine winning combinations.

Play the Powerball lottery game regularly. As the saying says, you can't win if you don't play. Even if you have limited funds, buy at least one ticket for each drawing. If you play quick pick, in which the computer picks the numbers for you, imagine your frustration if you skip a drawing and discover that the winner bought his ticket at the store where you usually buy yours. Worse yet, if you play the same numbers every week, imagine how you'd feel if you skipped a drawing and he won.

Choose a mix of even and odd numbers in your Powerball ticket, according to Gail Howard's Smart Luck Powerball tips (see Resources below). She says that you should either pick two even and three odd numbers or three even and two odd numbers for the white balls because those are the patterns that come up in 66 percent of Powerball drawings.

Go to the official Powerball website and review past sets of winning numbers, noting which number groups are not present, also according to Gail Howard's Smart Luck Powerball tips. For example, if the winning numbers for one drawing are 4-5-11-22-45-53, the thirties group is not represented. Look for patterns, and avoid playing numbers in the groups that are often absent from the winning numbers.

Choose a mix of low and high numbers. Powerball numbers run from 1 to 59, which means that 1 to 29 is the lower half of the field and 30 to 59 is the upper half. According to Gail Howard's Smart Luck Powerball tips, winning numbers are rarely all high or all low. That only happens in three percent of the drawings. It's better to have three low and two high or two low and three high for your white ball numbers, as these patterns show up in 64 percent of Powerball drawings.

Make sure to include at least one number from the previous winning combination when you choose your numbers. According to Gail Howard's Smart Luck Powerball tips, at least one winning number shows up in the next drawing roughly 40 percent of the time.

Tips

• You can boost your chances of winning Powerball without spending more money by going into a pool and purchasing tickets with a group of people. Be sure to get an agreement in writing of how the money will be split in case of a win.

Warnings

• Everyone would love to hit the Powerball jackpot, but you must be realistic. According to the official Powerball website, you chances of hitting the big prize are only 1 in 195,249,054.00. However, your odds of winning a more modest prize are 1 in 35.11.