Does Where I Live Give Me Better Odds of Winning Powerball?

Is anywhere more lucky?
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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
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Everyone wants a piece of the Powerball pie and its easy enough to understand why. The record $1.58 billion jackpot back in 2016 makes other lottery jackpots pale in comparison. What’s more, with a guaranteed jackpot that starts at $40 million, the US Powerball regularly rewards top prizes in the hundreds of millions.

It’s only a matter of time before a new Powerball jackpot record arrives, and the higher the jackpot, the greater the interest in buying tickets.

Of course, winning the big prize is every player’s dream. Not only do the big jackpot draws attract lottery enthusiasts, but also people who’ve never even played a lottery. Fantasies of living the high life based on a lucky windfall send people rushing for tickets.

So, does it matter where you live?

Does where you live have an impact on whether you win or lose?

It’s All Random

Let’s use the Mega Millions lottery as a quick example. In 2012, 3 of 11 jackpot winners lived in the United States metro areas. But along with winners from Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles, were winners from much smaller towns, like Ottawa and Pomona.

Much of America live in small cities and small towns. Perhaps they just like to buy more lottery tickets compared to big city folks.

Does it make a difference? Not really. Lottery outcomes are completely random and everyone has the same chances.

Back in 2012, a winning Powerball ticket was purchased in Lapeer, Michigan. The ticket won $337 million. In that same year, another Powerball winner came forward from Seymour, Connecticut that has a population of a little over 16,000 people. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, live the Shipping 20, those lucky 20 co-workers who hit the $240 million jackpot.

Everybody Has an Equal Chance

Every single ticket and ticket holder have an equal chance of winning Powerball. Draws are totally random. There is absolutely no way to bias a random draw towards certain locations. If that were the case, it wouldn’t be random at all, and that would just be cheating.

Of course, there are times when true randomness produces what we think is a pattern. Think about it. If you were to flip a coin 10,000 times, at some point, you might just see 10 heads in a row. Thinking of it like that, it does seem rather unlikely, but when you think of it as part of a much bigger and random sequence, if you didn’t see something along those lines, there’s sure to be something fishy happening.

Increasing Your Chances of Winning the Jackpot

Multi-time lottery winners may suggest ways of increasing your chances of winning. Whether that’s based on algorithms or where you live, it’s just not possible. The lottery is random. Unlike games like blackjack or poker, there is nothing you can do to gain a winning edge, and that includes moving to a new house in the hope of winning.

If you consider the sheer number of Powerball ticket buyers in a city compared to a smaller town, there may be a few confounding patterns. For instance, each small town may have several stores selling tickets. But look at the number of big-city vendors, there’s a lot more. In fact, compared with the number of vendors outside of the bigger cities, there are more lottery vendors on the outskirts.

Also, if you consider ticket-buying patterns, there’s a smaller proportion of ticket buyers outside of the cities.

That being said, there’s no rhyme or reason for why winners come from any particular city or country, for that matter.

In fact, consider this. It is never known where a ticket was sold until after a draw takes place. So, there is just as much chance of a jackpot ticket being sold in a large town as there is in a small town, the suburbs or even another country.

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