How to win the lottery – that’s what we all dream of, isn’t it? Despite the odds against us, many of us hold our breath, particularly on Tuesdays and Fridays when the Euromillions jackpots have rolled over to staggeringly large amounts.
Now I don’t advocate gambling but I do play the lottery. I think of it as my way of giving a bit to charity and, let’s be honest, for most of us, winning a lottery jackpot is the only way we are going to join the ranks of the rich and famous – quickly, at any rate.
Online lottery ticket service lottosend.com recently carried out some research in advance of World Wish Day on April 29th and found that the top 5 wishes of a 1000 people surveyed across the UK were as follows:-
1.win the lottery [7%] 2. health [6.6%] 3.money [5.9%] 4.world peace [4.8%] 5.happiness [3.5%]
I’m not sure what the other 72.2% wished for but I imagine you’d need cash for most of their desires.
Interestingly, men wanted money most [6.5%] but women wanted health [7.9%]. Money was the top wish for both the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups, but both the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups wanted to win the lottery. The 55-64 and 65+ age groups valued health most (unsurprisingly!).
So the big question is – how can I improve my chances of winning?
You’ve got to be in it to win it, they say. And it is possible to enter lotteries not only in the UK but in Europe and the US, as long as you check the local laws about collecting your winnings! This should increase your chances rather than always sticking the the National Lottery in the UK.
The Telegraph has compiled its 10 tips for maximising your chance of a lottery win [here]. These include a couple of surprises including not bothering with ball number 13 (in 20 years it’s only appeared 229 times which is the lowest of any ball) and instead choosing number 38 which is the most drawn at 314 times. Only 11% of lottery millionnaires won by sticking to their tried and tested numbers such as birth dates, anniversaries and door numbers so you’d do well to mix your numbers up occasionally. Your chances of winning are also significantly raised if you join a lottery syndicate, making sure you have a written agreement between the members of course!
Other things you could consider are:-
– playing less often but buying more tickets when you do – apparently this increases your chances
– don’t choose pretty patterns – it’s popular to pick your numbers by creating diagonal lines or vertical lines on your ticket, increasing the risk of having to share the jackpot with others who choose the same way.
– avoiding 16, 41 and 20 which perform just as poorly as number 13
Whatever you do, just make sure you keep your lucky ticket safe as you will need it to claim your winnings. I like to play online so that there is always a record of my entry. And be aware that the National Lottery UK has a 30 day time limit for reporting lost tickets and has previously refused to pay out when that deadline has been missed. [The Daily Mail]. Another good reason for playing online.
What makes some people luckier than others? Richard Wiseman who has written extensively on the subject in his book “The Luck Factor” says that there are 4 psychological principles you can observe with ‘lucky’ people [The Guardian, 2/4/15]
They create and notice opportunities by building a strong social network, developing a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to change.
They tend to often listen to their intuition and act quickly. In contrast, unlucky people tend to overanalyse situations and are afraid to act.
They are confident that the future will be bright, and these expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies because they help motivate lucky people to try even when the odds are against them. Unlucky people are sure that they will fail and so often give up before they have begun.
They are highly resilient, and keep going in the face of failure and learn from past mistakes. Unlucky people get dragged down by the smallest of problems and take responsibility for events outside of their control.
Now I reckon that if you can cultivate a mindset like that, you really will have won the lottery!