PHOENIX — As the jackpot for lottery games such as Powerball and Mega Millions grows, so does interest in those games.
Most longtime lottery players, regardless of their lottery success, will have a rock-solid system that they swear by.
PICKING NUMBERS VS. QUICK PICK
Some players chose to pick their own ‘lucky’ numbers, such as relatives’ birthdays or other important dates, or maybe sports jersey numbers.
Then there are those who just go for the Quick Pick option and let luck take the lead.
“All the drawings in lottery are totally random, so there is no advantage to picking the numbers yourself or buying a Quick Pick,” said John Gilliland, with the Arizona Lottery.
“You know 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 has the same odds of winning as any other set of numbers does. So, you should decide how to pick your numbers based on what’s best and most fun for you.”
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION?
Is Arizona a luckier state than others? Does it matter if you buy a ticket at your favorite gas station, or travel miles out of your way to more remote store?
Gilliland says location plays no role in where a winning ticket will show up.
“Arizona is ranked right in the middle because Arizona is right in the middle as far as population of lottery players because there is no ‘winning state’ per se when it comes to lottery,” Gilliland explained.
“All the games are random, so what really matter is the number of people in your state who play, and the luck of the draw.”
WHERE DOES ALL THAT MONEY GO, IF NO ONE WINS?
A percentage of every lottery ticket sold goes into the ‘pot’. A set amount of money is set aside for the jackpot that will continue to grow until someone wins it all. That’s the simple part.
Retailers also receive a small percentage of each ticket sold.
The real money comes when someone wins. Sure, the person with a winning ticket might get thousands, if not millions of dollars, but the retailer also receives a percentage of the winnings.
The state also receives some of the winnings in the form of taxes. Taxes on jackpot winnings in Arizona fund 13 different programs, from education to health care.
“We love to pay winners because that money goes back into the community and helps us tell our story about helping make dreams come true and help benefit our community,” said Gilliland.
PLAY AT YOUR COMFORT LEVEL
Keep in mind that the lottery is a game of chance, and those with gambling issues may want to avoid any triggers.
Gilliland has some advice for those who may find themselves in the unique position of winning a jackpot: “Play to your comfort level and if you do happen to win, safeguard that ticket. Sign that ticket, keep it safe, don’t allow it to get damaged,” Gilliland warned.
“Anybody who does win a big prize, be sure to talk to your financial consultant, be your lawyer, your accountant, whoever it is that helps you with your money. It is very important that you are able to get the most out of your prize.”
In Arizona, the law states that winners of jackpots over $100,000 have the right to stay anonymous.