Lucky Times To Play Lotto

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Are there really lucky times to play lotto? If, as in the movie Back to the Future, someone pulls up in a Delorean and claims to be from a distant era, the answer is yes! Don't ask any questions. Just take the numbers that he or she gives you and go buy your lotto ticket.

Apart from this unlikely situation, there are really only smart times to play lotto. One example is any time the jackpot reaches an exorbitant sum, which for some people is 10 million dollars and for others is 100 million dollars. Granted, most folks would be content with a million-dollar payday, but once you factor in your tax liability and monies lost to the "lump" payment method (which most winners choose), you may only be talking about a few hundred thousand dollars--still a pretty good day's work, but hardly enough to justify ongoing lottery ticket purchases.

More on Smart vs. Lucky Times To Play Lotto

Lucky times to play lotto might be just after emerging unscathed from a near auto collision or cheating death by means of falling piano from the sky. Many people do in fact believe that luck runs in streaks. It's not uncommon for someone who's just received a stroke of good fortune to hear "Go play the lottery" or "Get on a plane to Vegas" from a friend or family member.

Experts in probability and game theories as well as garden-variety mathematicians who don't believe in lucky times to play lotto frequently take a more reasoned approach. Typically, they say, the best time to play the lottery is whenever the prospective payout hits a fixed rate that can be expressed as a multiple of the cost of its game ticket. Others believe that only when the payout and odds match up (say a one-in-10-million shot for a 10-million-dollar payout) is the cost of a game ticket truly justified.

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