Many people dream of winning the lottery, but most of those dreams will never become a reality. Even the winners who do win will often find their jackpots are gone in a blink of an eye due to bad choices or ill-fated investments. Here are some tips from real-life lottery winners to help you avoid becoming a victim of the lottery curse.
Lottery organizers have gradually made their games harder to win for decades, says Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross. This has incentivizing players to keep buying tickets and keeps the jackpots rising. But “it’s not in their financial interest to make it too hard to win,” he says. That would push ticket prices up or require larger jackpots that most consumers aren’t willing to pay for.
The most important thing to remember is that winning the lottery is about winning money, not a magic bullet that solves all your problems. The biggest mistake that lottery winners make is spending more than they can afford, which ruins their lifestyle and can even lead to bankruptcy. To keep from making the same mistakes, it’s important to set realistic financial goals and learn how to manage your money.
One of the best ways to ensure you don’t lose your money is to buy lottery tickets regularly. But be sure to purchase a lottery ticket that matches your budget and preferences. It’s also crucial to know how much a lottery ticket costs and what the odds of winning are.
GOBankingRates spoke with some of the most successful lottery winners to uncover some secrets to their success. Here are some of their tips:
Buy the Right Lottery
If you want to improve your odds of winning, choose a lottery with the highest odds. There are many different lotteries to choose from, and each has its own odds. Some are national, while others are local or state-specific. National lotteries have bigger pools of numbers, while local and state-specific ones have higher winning odds.
While no software can predict the winner of a lottery draw, opting for less common numbers is an easy way to improve your chances. This is because these numbers are less likely to be shared by other lottery players, reducing the likelihood of a divided jackpot.
Get Out of Debt
Paying off debt is the first step to ensuring you don’t lose your lottery winnings. Getting out of debt can give you the freedom to spend your winnings on whatever you desire, including a new house, a luxury car or a trip around the world with your spouse.
While it’s common for lottery winners to make plans to travel the world or buy a new house, Canadian Tom Crist was thinking about something much more meaningful when he won the lottery. His wife Jan had died of cancer, so he donated his entire lump sum (and in Canada, lottery winnings aren’t taxed!) to a cancer charity in Calgary.