Powerball jackpot at record $800 million: Tips to improve your odds

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CLEVELAND– The Powerball jackpot stands at $800 million, surpassing previous records to become the largest jackpot in U.S. history.

Powerball estimates the cash payout at $496 million. The jackpot has been growing since Nov. 7 and the next drawing is Saturday at 11 p.m.

With people rushing to get their tickets and hoping to strike it rich, here are a few tips that would increase your odds of winning:

Chose more than birthdays

Powerball draws five white balls from a drum of 69. That means if you chose birth months and dates, you’re using less than half of the available numbers. Mathematicians and past winners agree you need to spread the love around.

Buy multiple tickets

The odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. So if you buy 10 tickets at $2 each, your odds multiply by 10. That’s still a small number.

Author of “Learn How to Increase You Chances of Winning the Lottery” Richard Lustig said pick different sets of numbers on each ticket, but allow for a few overlapping digits.

Let the computer pick (or don’t)

Here’s where experienced winners and math experts differ. The Multi-State Lottery Association said about 75 percent of tickets are computer-generated selections and about 75 percent of those tickets are winners.

Assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University Scott A. Norris said letting the computer chose gets you away from the standards (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) But according to Lustig, you should find your numbers and stick with them, especially if you play multiple lottery games.

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