Everyone reading this post has something in common: we didn’t pick the winning numbers to claim that huge Powerball jackpot on Wednesday.
The sixth-largest Powerball jackpot in history slipped through your fingers. Just imagine what you could have done with slightly more than a half-billion — billion…with a b.
There’s a bright side to this mass failure to win: the Powerball jackpot will now jump to an estimated $675 million, the largest jackpot in history:
— Texas Lottery (@TexasLottery) January 7, 2016
For many people, that means they’ll pull out their little piece of paper on which they’ve scribbled a carefully-selected list of numbers, based on birthdays, street addresses, wedding dates, the number of children or siblings they have, or any of the other myriad personal details that might inspire a “lucky” number.
Thinking their lucky numbers will eventually be Powerball’s winning numbers, they’ll fill out a new set of lottery tickets hoping this drawing will be the drawing.
But ABC News reports at least 70% of past winners went the “Quick Pick” route, allowing the compuer to randomly select their numbers. It’s not difficult to conclude from that statistic that you have a much better chance of winning if you abandon those lucky numbers.
That makes perfect sense to me.
The actual winning numbers will be randomly selected.
If you allow the computer to pick the numbers for you, the only thing that has to happen for you to take home that lottery jackpot is that your random numbers must match theirs.
If you play with your own “lucky” numbers, based on numbers that are of personal significance to you, two things must happen: your numbers must still match theirs, but, by additional coincidence, those winning numbers would also have to be significant to the very events of your life you selected to build your set of numbers.
If I decide to play for that $675 million, I’ll let the computer do the work and focus my attention on keeping fingers crossed.
And on the way home, I’ll try to watch for bolts of lightning or random falling asteroids, things I’m more likely to be hit with than a winning Powerball ticket.
Good luck to us all!