Hitting it big in the lottery is the stuff dreams are made of, but with the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot at 170 million to 1, the prospect of taking home a huge chunk of change is pretty much that – little more than a dream.
Unless, of course, you're Richard Lustig, who's won seven major lottery jackpots in the last few years, including one which netted him close to $1 million.
According to Lustig, winning the lottery requires more than dumb luck. He says serious players should take a studied approach, doing everything in their power to help increase their odds.
Lustig's gone so far as to write a book about it.
In "Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery", Lustig issues some straight forward advice.
- Pick your own numbers. Don't let a machine do it.
- Research and see if the numbers you want to pick have won before. He says the odds of those numbers winning again are few and far between.
- Pick ten sets of numbers and play them relentlessly.
- Spend as much as you can reasonably afford.
- Pick several different games and play them consistently.
- Avoid playing just birthdays and anniversaries. Those numbers on go as high as 31, meaning you'll never play numbers 32 to 49.
-And, as far those scratch-off games go, Lustig says if you're only spending a few bucks, be sure and pick tickets from the same roll.
Lustig's seven wins are nothing to sneeze at, but that impressive streak was bested last year by an Arizona man.
Back in 2012, a Glendale man, who chose to remain anonymous, bought six separate tickets for the same Powerball drawing and played the same number combination on each ticket. He walked away with six second-place winners. Each one was worth a cool million dollars.
Nonetheless, applying Lustig's principles to the game of Powerball offers some interesting notions - especially when it comes to his mantra of avoiding past winning numbers.
A look back at Arizona's Powerball winners over the last year shows the least picked numbers to be:
15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 38. (When playing Powerball tickets, you only pick 5 numbers.)
The least picked Powerball number is 31.
So which Arizona spots are most likely to dole out a winning ticket?
Check out the stores in our state that have sold a $1 million (or more) prize in the past year, according to the Arizona Lottery. (You can also see the list on abc15.com )