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Flipping through the news channels, it is almost a regular occurrence to see someone holding a big novelty check, beaming in front the cameras because they have just hit the Powerball jackpot. With a starting advertised jackpot of $40 Million and a historical high jackpot of $1.6 Billion, it’s no surprise Powerball winners are so happy – that is a lot of money, all for choosing a few correct numbers.
If you are tempted to play the Powerball as well, go for it – but be sure to read the following before you do. The Powerball lottery can be incredibly lucrative, but there are certain things you should know in advance, such as the basic gameplay, how to pick “hot” numbers, and what to do if you win the Powerball lottery.
The basic gameplay is pretty straightforward: you pick five numbers from between one and 69, and one Powerball number from between one and 26 (for a total of six numbers). At the draws, which take place every Wednesday and Saturday evening, six numbered balls are drawn – five regular balls and one Powerball – from two separate drums. Depending on how many numbers match your card, you can win anywhere from $4 to the full jackpot – which, as mentioned, starts at a whopping $40 million. Beyond that, you can multiply your non-jackpot winnings by choosing what is called the “Power Play” option.
Of all the tips to help you win the Powerball lottery that are floating around out there, perhaps the best tip is to research commonly drawn number combos, as well as “hot and cold” numbers. Commonly drawn number combos are exactly what they sound like: trios or pairs of numbers that have commonly been drawn together. By choosing numbers that have historically gone together, you might give yourself a better chance of matching multiple numbers. As for the hot and cold numbers, this is a ranking of all Powerball numbers based on their draw average versus their last appearance; if, for example, a 35 is usually drawn often but hasn’t appeared in a while, it is said to be overdue, or hot.
What If You Win?
If you win the Powerball jackpot, you will be forced to make a few snap decisions, so it pays (quite literally) to plan ahead. You will first need to decide the level of anonymity you wish – i.e. whether you want your name published, and whether you will consent to doing television and newspaper interviews. This exposure may bring you fame, but it could also bring unwanted attention, in the form of people asking you for some of your new windfall. The second snap decision to make is how you want to receive your money; do you want it as a lump sum (all at once) or as an annuity (paid to you in increments, annually over 29 years). Experts say you should take the annuity, but ultimately the choice is yours.
Play with confidence, use the stats available to choose your numbers, and be smart about winning – that’s the key to playing Powerball. Regardless of whether you live in the US or Canada, you can play Powerball online and potentially change your life.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.