If there is one thing that captures the imagination and the ambition of Americans from all walks of life, it has to be winning a multimillion dollar lottery jackpot. This is an instant millionaire-making effort. Still, your odds of winning a lottery are so small that it is a wonder that anyone spends more than a dollar or two in their entire life to bother playing the lottery.
Now let’s think of something else that Americans actually do accomplish, with easy odds. They eat Chinese food, millions and millions of Americans do, even if about the only health dish there is steamed vegetables. And what, besides steamed white rice, do people get with their Chinese food? Fortune cookies. And what is printed on many fortune cookies, outside of the “fortune” message? Lucky numbers.
So, now there is a serious dilemma for lottery players to consider: Do lucky numbers on a fortune cookie message actually increase your tiny odds of winning the lottery?
Before you chuckle, remember that the MegaMillions and Powerball lotteries are estimated in the millions of dollars each. Even if you want to laugh now, just consider that someone who recently won a $10 million lottery jackpot claimed that he used numbers on a fortune cookie. Those lucky numbers were 16, 26, 29, 39, 45 and 46.
The popularity of one 24/7 Wall St. story should speak for itself: 12 Things Not to Do If You Win the Lottery.
Now let’s think about the odds in real life of a $235 million Powerball winner. The odds of hitting the jackpot were posted on the PALottery site as being 1 in 175,223,510. Those are astronomical odds. Now think about winning the lesser prizes, as the odds of winning as follows:
- $1 million winner: 1 in 5,153,633
- $10,000: 1 in 648,976
- $100: 1 in 19,088 (or 1 in 12,245)
- Winning a prize of any sort: 1 in 31.85
So what about those lucky numbers from the fortune cookies?
24/7 Wall St. will not be making any “odds handicapping” of using a fortune cookie’s lucky numbers to increase your chances of winning and becoming the next lottery winner. It seems like a silly exercise, but you know that some people do it somewhere.
Just a quick glance on this subject might lead you to think using someone else’s lucky numbers would seem like predicting lightning to strike twice in the same exact place. It might even be easier just picking a set of numbers and using those for the rest of your life, even if the rationale that “the numbers have to be hit eventually” does not really change the odds for any series of drawings.
If you are lucky enough to win a $100 million lottery, or even a $10 million lottery, 24/7 Wall St. created the 12 things not to do if you win the lottery just for you. These matter, big time. Avoiding those efforts could send you back to the poorhouse in a very short time.
Using any tactic to win a lottery seems a bit fishy. There are even published books on how to win the lottery. Then there are many tall tales for what works. Still, imagine winning. And some people have won more than one lottery. Many more lottery winners end up broke within a few years.
For the record, yours truly has never played these lucky numbers on a lottery ticket. For that matter, is the fortune cookie message here irony or a paradox?