What to Do Before You Win the Lottery
In your heart, you know you are going to win a lotto jackpot eventually. Why else do you buy lottery tickets? Here is some advice for your head and heart while you get ready to win.
Don't make promises you do not intend to keep. It is easy to tell someone: "If I won the lottery, I would pay off your mortgage" or "When I win the lottery, I will buy you a new car." Such statements, even meant as sympathy for another's plight, can come back to haunt you. You may forget you said it. Yet when you do win the lottery, that person to whom you uttered your promise will remember vividly and expect to collect their "due." And if you pay off the mortgage or buy that car, it will not mean as much if it had not been "expected" or "promised."
When large sums of money are involved, it is surprising how a long-standing friendship or family tie can become meaningless. Be forewarned: Buy your own tickets -- or at least have them in your own safekeeping before the drawing takes place. As an extra precaution, sign the back of your winning tickets. After the drawing, possession is 99 percent of the law.
Stick to a budget. Don't play with money you are afraid to lose. Scared money seldom wins. Keep it fun so that your attitude remains positive. Enjoy it with others by pooling your money with friends, family or co-workers. Not only is it more enjoyable playing with others, but it also stretches your lotto budget. When you pool your money with others, you can afford to use the larger wheeling systems.
Pooling your money with others to share in more tickets is a great idea, but do not pool your money with anyone without a signed agreement. You may think you are risking only a few dollars. But if the ticket wins, you have put at risk potential millions.
To further stretch your lotto dollar, play a large wheeling system once a month and skip the other drawings in between. Or use the money you might have spent (but didn't) on some other form of entertainment. If you have a multiple prize win, you can afford to spend more on lotto tickets next time, such as playing two or more wheeling systems. You may be on a hot streak. When you don't win, stay on a self-imposed budget until you win again. But keep in mind, there is one thing all jackpot winners have in common: They all bought a ticket!
Keep your lottery tickets in a safe place and check them immediately after the drawing. Collect your small prizes (under $600) right away before the expiration date. Most states give you only 30 days to claim small wins.
Save all of your losing lottery tickets because they are tax deductible, dollar for dollar, against your lottery wins. Receipts for other gambling losses can also be deducted against lottery wins. When you win even a second prize, you will be glad to have those deductions at tax time.
If you want to start winning sooner rather than later, invest the greater portion of your lottery budget on the cash-5 game offered in your state. You will win more prizes more often when you play the lower odds pick-5 games. Top prize might be only a hundred thousand dollars or so. Nevertheless, I guarantee that when you win one, you will be very, very happy!
Although my strategies are scientific, based on mathematical probability, I am a great believer in playing hunches, too. If you feel strongly about a certain number, play it. Your inner conscious mind becomes stronger and more accurate as you use it. Even your hunch muscle has to be exercised to work efficiently. It is very important to think of yourself as a lucky person -- to think of yourself as a winner.
Gail Howard is the author of the comprehensive lottery number selection book "Lottery Master Guide" and lotto wheeling books for pick-5, pick-6 and Powerball/Mega Millions as well as lotto software with scientific strategies and easy-to-use systems to help the lottery player bet smarter.
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