May 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM ET
If you live in one of the 43 states where you can play Powerball, chances are you’ve been daydreaming about how you’ll spend this weekend’s record-breaking $600 million prize.
The jackpot is the highest ever in Powerball history, thanks in part to the state of California, which just started selling the tickets last month.
And while it’s nice to dream about calling your boss on Monday to announce you won't be in, you probably want to refrain from polishing that resignation notice just yet: Your odds of winning Saturday’s drawing are one in 175 million.
Just to put that in perspective, you’d have a better shot at getting three holes in one, becoming an A-list movie star or even getting elected president of the United States.
Still, that never deterred Richard Lustig—he’s a whopping seven-time grand prize lottery winner and the author of Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.
So how did Lustig beat the odds? For one, you have to stick to it—treat it like a job, he says. “Anything in life that’s really worth acquiring takes time and effort. And people need to look at lottery that way,” he says. “They are crazy not to.”
Second, pick your own numbers—don’t let the computer do it, he adds, and play the same numbers every time. “The reason why you should play the same numbers is because your odds become better every time you play them. Not much ... but every little bit helps,” he says.
Third, he says, set a budget and don’t get into trouble. “I tell people, don’t spend grocery money, don’t spend rent money. Figure out what you can afford to spend.”
And if you are already counting that cash in your head, remember the Powerball jackpot could even increase before tonight’s drawing—the state of Virginia expects to sell nearly 5 million tickets today alone. Check the current jackpot here.