You might have a better chance of becoming a movie star than winning Saturday's $700 million Powerball jackpot drawing, but there are ways to give yourself a better shot at a Jurassic-sized payday.
The payout is either $700 million over 30 years or an immediate cash sum of $428.4 million before Uncle Sam takes his bite at the federal and state level. That still would leave more than $200 million after taxes if you took the cash option, which should be enough to scrape by on.
The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million, but the odds of winning without buying a ticket are zero. So here are some strategies to have the right five white balls and red Powerball pop up for you come Saturday.
1. Let the computer pick the numbers. About 70 percent of past winners have used the computer's picks, which make the selections from the 69 numbered balls, according to the Powerball website. So skip your great aunt's birthday, the date the Mets won the World Series, and your wedding anniversary, and let the computer do the work.
2. Hope the computer picks these numbers. The most frequently drawn numbers for Powerball are 26, 41, 22 and 16, according to LottoNumbers.com.
3. Buy your tickets in Pennsylvania. In the past 13 years, 16 winning Powerball tickets have been sold in the Keystone State, the most of any state in the country.
4. You don't need to buy a bunch of tickets. The odds are so long that even buying a hundred or a thousand tickets is not going to dramatically increase your chances. If you want to go big and buy every possible number combination at $2 a ticket, that would cost $584 million, so you might want to skip that strategy.
In case you also need any tips on how to spend the money once your bank account swells to nine figures with your winnings, check out what some past winners have done.
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