Some lottery players buy tickets once a week, others pick up a ticket when they think about it, and some lottery gamblers are more serious about their play.
If you belong to the last category and play US lottery games frequently, here are 7 tips to help you responsibly get the most from your daily lottery budget. The following tips provide methods and ways of thinking to enjoy the lottery without breaking the bank.
Tip #1: Pick the Right Game for Your Finances and Risk Tolerance
It may seem obvious, but daily lottery players need to understand the basic differences between game types and the implications for their long-term goals.
For example, if you want to play the lottery every day, focusing all your mental energy on the latest Powerball jackpot is not the way to go. Remember there are also smaller (and easier to win) daily games to pick and choose from.
Tip# 2: Know Your Daily Bankroll
The most important thing for daily lottery players to figure out is how much money they can responsibly spend. In addition, all lottery players must fully internalize one crucial fact:
- The lottery is a form of entertainment, and it comes with a cost
So, players must set a daily bankroll that treats the lottery as a form of entertainment, not as a way to strike it rich one day. If you hit a jackpot, that’s great. But don’t count on it.
The price of every lottery ticket you buy should come from your entertainment budget. That’s the money you have left after paying bills, saving for the future, and so on. The lottery is fun, but it should near the bottom of your priorities when you’re making your household budget.
Tip #3: Make A Plan for Your Winnings
Having a plan for what to do with your winnings before you play will help you make smarter decisions when luck favors you.
For example, if you know you will pocket half your winnings from modest prizes and buy more tickets with the other half, you’ll avoid making subpar decisions later. Having a plan makes it easier to ensure you keep some of your winnings rather than getting into a loop where you continuously reinvest your winnings until you’re left with nothing.
The same is even doubly true for large wins. Do you have a plan for what you’ll do with a five, six, or seven-figure jackpot? If not, it would be wise to give it some thought. You don’t need to spend too much time planning what you would do with an ultra-rare million-dollar jackpot, but it helps to have a basic plan in mind just in case.
Tip #4: Play Daily Draw Games for Better Odds
Daily draw games occur every day and sometimes twice or three times a day. They pick from a smaller pool of numbers than bigger lotteries, which increases the odds of winning.
For example, a pick 3 daily game uses numbers from 000 to 999 and a pick 4 game uses numbers from 0000 to 9999.
There are several advantages to daily draw games. The most obvious is that they run every day. In addition, they are easier to win. And finally, they often cost less than bigger lotteries.
The downside is that daily drawing games feature smaller prizes than once or twice-weekly games.
Tip #5: Consider Instant Games
Instant games come in 2 main forms. The most common instant lottery game is a scratch off ticket. You buy a scratch off ticket and find out your results as soon as you reveal the details on the card under the film.
The other type of instant game is a printed ticket like you receive when you buy a ticket to a big draw lottery game. But instead of waiting for a draw, you either win or lose instantly on the ticket.
Instant lottery games are good for daily lottery players because you get action right away. And if you buy scratch off tickets, you can take them with you and play them throughout the day.
Tip #6: Add Big Jackpot Games to the Lineup
Your odds of winning millions are low in these games, but tickets are inexpensive, and you can pick up a ticket to cover several big draws every week without breaking the bank.
Tip #7: Keep It Fun
It’s worth repeating: the lottery is a form of entertainment and nothing more. Big wins are extremely rare, and the vast majority of lottery players lose money over the long term.
Keeping it fun means understanding that the lottery is just entertainment and keeping your spending reasonable. If you’re stressed about finances or feel like you’re spending too much, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
If you play lottery games every day or almost every day, the tips outline above will get you started on the right foot. Most importantly, establishing a daily bankroll helps you make sure you keep your spending under control and your personal finances healthy.
Mike Murphy is the founder of USGambling.com and several other recognized gambling information websites. Mike was an early entrant to the regulated online gambling market in the United States and has been a stakeholder in the industry since 2008.