The lottery is a gambling game whose roots are in ancient times, but the modern version of lotteries as state-sponsored games has a much more recent history. It traces back to the Low Countries in the 15th century, where public lotteries were first recorded for raising money for town fortifications and helping the poor. Lotteries have grown to become one of the most popular ways for states to raise money, and they are constantly introducing new games to maintain or increase their revenues.
While there are a lot of people who play the lottery simply because they enjoy it, many others use strategies that they believe will improve their chances of winning. Some have their “lucky” numbers, and others follow a system that they have created based on past results of previous drawings. Many players also buy tickets for multiple games in the hope that their odds of winning will increase.
These tactics may seem like a surefire way to improve your chances of winning, but they don’t work, according to experts. Harvard statistics professor Mark Glickman tells CNBC Make It that a number of tactics are popular among lottery players—from playing the same numbers every week to buying Quick Pick tickets—but they’re not likely to improve your odds of winning.
Instead, Glickman suggests trying to cover a larger range of numbers, and avoiding picking the same number more than once. He also says that choosing numbers that end with the same digit reduces your chances of splitting the prize, as this type of number tends to win less often.