Calculate your Odds of Winning the Lottery
Let's face it.  When it comes to winning the lottery, your odds are terrible.  You can, however, increase your odds by choosing the right game at the right time.  To do this you must pay attention to the payout and your odds of winning.  You must also take into account, not only the jackpot, but the lower payouts as well.  Then divide these numbers by your chances of winning and you will see whether or not you should play.  Most people see the big ticket mega millions but don't realize that it is more fiscally responsible to buy a lower payout ticket.

Sample Lottery Calculations
The standard Ohio Classic lottery odds are calculated with a fairly simple formula.  Depending on the highest number you have to choose from (this will greatly affect the probability of winning) this calculation is straight forward.

For a lottery with 49 numbers, the calculation would look like this:

(1*2*3*4*5*6)/(49*48*47*46*45*44) = 1/13,983,816

Therefore the payout should be $13,983,817 or higher for it to make sense to play.  Technically you could play every single number available and still make money.  You still should take into account the odds of winning a lower prize.  I will use the Ohio lottery as an example:

Now that your "Expected Value" is greater than the cost of the ticket, it technically makes sense to play the lottery.  The only problem with this is that no one really has a big enough bank roll to make this system useful.  It would take several lifetimes to guarantee that a system like this would work.  Most experts will agree that in order to get an actual gauge on an expected value of greater than one you should take into account that they will either offer a bulk sum which will be a portion of the jackpot or an annuity.  You should also take into account that you will be paying taxes on this prize.  Since this website is designed to provide you with the best time to play to improve your expected value, we will focus on taking the total jackpot because you will never reach a high enough prize to really make playing the lottery justified.  We are now going to look at an easy way of improving your lottery odds.
Improving your odds of Winning!
Really the only way to increase your odds is to buy more lottery tickets.  Sure this seems like something a lottery spokesperson would say but it's true.  If you were to buy 5 tickets instead of 1, your odd would increase from 1/13,983,816 to 1/2,796,763.  These odds are much higher but still bad.  This is why I suggest that you wait until the jackpot is large enough to justify buying tickets and put your saved lottery budget into that one drawing.  While this will increase your odds of winning the lottery, you are still paying more each time you play the lottery so your expected value will stay the same.  For this reason you should only play when I say that the jackpot is high enough to justify playing.  For most games, it will take about 5 months before I would suggest playing.  If you were to save $1 dollar per week for the lottery, you would have at least $20 dollars to spend on this jackpot.  That would increase your lottery odds to 1/699,190.
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