Improve your odds of winning the lotto? Not!

I overheard a guy say, “I’m spending $20 on the next Powerball drawing to get ten plays (at $2 a play) so my chances of winning (the jackpot) will be 10 times better!” Sorry to break it to you buddy, but your chances are substantially the same, not 10 times better. Let’s look at the odds and the effect of buying multiple plays for an individual drawing.

If you purchase one play ($2) for Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot (matching the first 5 numbers plus the Powerball number) are:
1 in 175,223,510

So what are your odds if you buy five plays, costing $10?
1 in 175,223,505

Ten plays costing $20 gives you odds of:
1 in 175,223,500

If you by 100 plays, costing $200, your odds of winning the jackpot do not substantially move. They are:
1 in 175,223,410

This is an easy demonstration that throwing more money and additional plays at a lotto game do very little good.
I suggest you get in the game, buy a single play for each lotto game your jurisdiction offers, and let lady luck do her thing. Throwing more money at the jackpot does you no good.
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Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is a bit puny. Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is better.

MEGA MILLIONS
03/05/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option: $19,300,000

POWERBALL
03/06/2013
$123,000,000 est
Cash Option: $78,000,000