A winning strategy for the big lottery

Monday, January 11, 2016

You're not going to win the lottery, so you may as well stop reading right here and go on to something else.

That's absolutely true if you don't buy a ticket in this week's $1.3 billion Powerball drawing, but only infinitesimally less true if you do buy one.

But, hey, isn't a $2 investment worth a shot at $1.3 billion, even if it's only a 292 million-to-one chance?

Peer pressure can play a part as well, with friends and co-workers pooling their dollars together to take a long, long shot at massive wealth.

But what if one of those tickets is a winner?

Things seemed to work out OK for eight coworkers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beef plant in Lincoln, who won $365 million in February 2006.

That hasn't been the case in other instances, when greed has overpowered office camaraderie and lawsuits have drained away lottery winnings.

So even if there's only the slightest chance your office pool will purchase a winning ticket, it's a good idea to create a contract, of sorts.

Make copies of the tickets for everyone in the group, write down a list of all involved, and have one point person to sign the tickets when the winnings are collected.

And, before you buy any tickets, check your company's policy when it comes to gambling.

If you've stuck with us thus far, you've obviously not given up on the dream of winning the lottery. Here's one more dose of reality.

Take a coin from your pocket, and flip it 28 times. If it comes up "heads" 28 times in a row, congratulations, you've just beaten the odds it takes to win the Powerball jackpot.

For guaranteed winning odds, take that coin and put it back in your pocket.

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