You can read all the lottery stories you want, listen to your family and friends talk about their opinions of the lottery, play as much as possible, but you will never have the power to really play the lottery unless you education yourself on everything about it. The more factual information you know about the lottery games you play, the better a player you will become.
Education is a powerful weapon not only in playing the lottery, but also in collecting your winnings. The more you know the more fun you will have in playing the lottery and including lottery purchases in your monthly financial budget.
For instance, you will need to know how much the lottery games you play cost per ticket, price of any bonus draw that may be an extra option, the date and time deadlines to buy a ticket, and the date and time of the actual draw.
Understand completely how the game is played by reading and studying the rules of play. You will need to know how many numbers are in the pool to be selected from, how many of those numbers you need to win a particular prize, all matching combinations for associated prizes, and how to claim each level of prize. This last one is important as the rules may vary per the amount you have one. For instance, prized up to $500 may be claimed at a retailer, prizes over $500 to $10,000 may need to be claimed at an agent or casino, or anything over $10,000 may need to be claimed in person.
Be aware of the odds of winning so you don’t have any subconscious expectations of not winning. Know what the odds are for winning the top award, the odds for winning each and every other prize, and the odds of winning any prize at all (called the general odds.)
Learn how the game is drawn, either by balls and a blower or via a computer Random Number Generator. Although it really makes no difference either way, you may have a personal preference on a drawing method or it may not any difference to you at all.
Understand fully how to claim your prize, what identification or documents you will need to make your claim, what the claim process is and your obligations in it, when you might receive your winnings, and what to do afterwards. Remember, most lotteries require you to present the original ticket and submit to a mini or major interview to determine your eligibility to collect your prize, fill out several forms, and agree to the publication of your picture, name, and place of residence for marketing and transparency purposes.
You will also need to be aware of and able to identify the red flags that indicate a propensity for problem gambling, not only for yourself but also for someone you know, and how to help them out. If lottery play becomes for an obsession than a fun activity, if the amount of money spent increases drastically, if frustration sets in when your or their ticket does not win, or if money is being appropriated from the grocery or rent/mortgage money, then it is time to seek help. Most places where you buy your tickets have contact information for assistance for problem gambling. Avail yourself of their service to curtail spending and get back on track.