Most people know that the lottery isn’t a great way to spend money, but if you’re doing it anyway, you might as well do it right.Scientific American breaks down the best practices for betting your cash so you only spend it when it matters.
The basic idea is to only buy tickets for small, state lotteries that haven’t had a lot of press. Scientific American explains:
Look for a jackpot that’s rolled over at least five times and that remains below $40 million. It’s a good bet that it’s a good bet. And by a good bet, I mean a positive expected rate of return – over time, a dollar invested returns more than a dollar.
Knowing where to bet your money is just half the battle. The other part is knowing which numbers to pick. Scientific American continues:
Don’t pick the number one. It’s on about 15 per cent of all tickets. Similarly, avoid lucky numbers 7, 13, 23, 32, 42, and 48. Better are 26, 34, 44, 45, and especially overlooked number 46. Avoid any recognisable pattern, but give slight preference to numbers at the edge of the ticket, which are underused.
A lottery ticket will never be a good investment, but the above tips can at least make it a good bet.