The BBC recently reported that the Bulgarian national lottery winning numbers were identical for two consecutive drawings. For obvious reasons, this raised many Bulgarian eyebrows, with some suggesting fraud. A mathematician, however, said the odds of such an occurrence were one in four million—slim, but by no means impossible.
Sometimes improbable things just happen. If you have been secretly hoping for a big lottery windfall of your own, here’s how to boost your odds:
Listen to the fortune cookie
WHAT HAPPENED: In 2005, a record 110 players won $500,000 and $100,000 prizes in a Powerball drawing; many of them used the numbers included in a fortune cookie. (Normally only around four people win the Powerball at the Match 5 level).
LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes, playing the same number that many others have chosen may boost your odds. Of course, this assertion is not statistically valid, but we tend to be superstitious. Maybe there is something to group think!
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES: None, so long as the prize amount is fixed. If, however, you win a drawing where jackpot money is divided equally amongst all winners, you may be in for a disappointingly low payout.