SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Let's be real, the odds of winning the lottery are not good. In fact, a recent calculation places them at 1 in 302,000,000. That doesn't stop people from playing especially after a San Francisco man nearly won the historic Mega Millions.
Many people claim to have secret strategies to improve their odds, but do these strategies really work? KGO-TV sat down with Berkeley City College statistics professor, Dr. Mike Orkin, to get the mathematical truth:
Myth 1: There are LUCKY stores
Reality: Not really
"It is pure chance, so it doesn't matter what store you buy your tickets from, or where you buy your tickets, your chances are always the same. Interestingly enough, randomness has, creates patterns. And so just by chance, there will be some stores that sell more winning tickets than other stores."
Myth 2: There are HOT numbers
Reality: Kinda, sorta, not really
"Some people bet on the most frequently drawn numbers because those numbers are hot, some people bet on numbers that haven't come up for a while because those numbers are due. But in a game of pure chance, it doesn't make any difference. "
Myth 3: Your odds are better (over the long run) if you always play the most frequently-drawn numbers
Reality: No... and it could cost you!
"If you always play the most frequently drawn numbers, it does not change your chance of winning. But if you do win, there's more chance you'll have to split the pot with somebody."
Myth 4: The size of the jackpot and the number of players can affect your odds
Reality: No... but it's a better time to play
"Your chances of winning always stay the same, but you could win more money as the jackpot grows, so gambling-wise, it becomes a better bet."
Myth 5: There is no way to increase your odds
Reality: FALSE! There is one and only one way to increase your odds
"So there's no strategy that'll increase your odds of winning other than to buy more tickets."
How to win the lottery: Mega Millions myths busted