Biren Shah, right, sells a Powerball lottery ticket to a patron at his news stand as the multi-state jackpot reaches $800 million, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Chicago. With ticket sales doubling previous records, the odds are growing that someone will win Saturday’s record jackpot, but if no one wins the top prize, next week’s drawing is expected to soar past $1 billion. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A Powerball lottery card rests on a table, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. Lottery officials say sales have been robust since no one won Wednesday's estimated $500 million jackpot. It will be the biggest U.S. jackpot ever, beyond the previous record of a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in 2012 by players in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The "quick-pick" method works in number sets, which means every number doesn't have the same amount of luck one would perceive. "Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game,"Lustig said to Forbes about the Powerball.
2. Use the entire board
Many people use birthdates and anniversaries when filling out their cards. While your loved ones bring you priceless joy, using their special days to bring home the jackpot will likely mean you end up splitting the prize with 20-40 people. Instead of just playing numbers 1-31, use all the numbers available. "If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” Lustig says.
Lustig has a specific way to finding the numbers you feel most comfortable with in his book, but ultimately, once you pick the group that you think will work, stick with it. “Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” Lustig says. If playing multiple cards, have some variety in the grouping of numbers chosen to maximize your odds.
4. Be consistent
Simply put: If you want to win a particular game, follow past and future drawings to get the hang of it.
5. Don't get carried away
While winning $900 million would ultimately grant you and your loved ones financial security, it's important not to spend money you can't afford to lose (i.e.: groceries, rent, etc.) on lottery tickets. If you can only buy one ticket or even 10 but not 100, that's OK. "Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called 'lottery fever,' Lustig says. Spend what you can comfortably afford to on lottery tickets and no more.