Math Professor Who Won the Lottery Reveals His Tips for Playing
He's sharing some candid wisdom after winning the Powerball in 2016.
Most of us dream about one day winning the lottery, however unlikely that may be. But Nick Kapoor is one of the few who has gotten to see that dream realized. A math professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut, he recently opened up to NBC about his Powerball win in 2016. In the interview, Kapoor revealed he had actually bought a ticket to show his statistics students just how hard it is to win anything. He then ended up wining a prize of $100,000 after matching four of the five numbers, as well as the Powerball.
"So the lesson didn't really go according to plan," he told NBC. "But it is a fun story and I still buy a lottery ticket and bring it into the classroom because it is very, very improbable for someone to win the lottery. It just so happened that that time it happened to be me."
So what lessons can Kapoor now impart after winning? Read on to discover the math professor's lottery tips for anyone thinking about playing.
Don't stress over number strategy.
People take their lottery numbers very seriously. Some stick to special dates like a birthday, while others choose at random. But don't get too bogged down worrying whether your number strategy will help you win or not.
Kapoor said there is "absolutely no science behind" the numbers that get drawn in a lottery.
"So just pick your favorite numbers and see what happens," he advised.
According to Kapoor, lottery drawings are considered an "independent event" in the mathematics world. So studying the amount of times a number has been chosen in past lotteries won't make any difference for your chances.
"Every time we draw a new set of winning numbers from the Powerball or from the lottery, nothing in the past has any effect on what's going to happen there," he explained to NBC.
Buy more tickets.
So, how can you increase your odds of winning? Thats's easy enough. According to Kapoor, the one thing that will make any difference is the number of tickets you have.
"The only way to mathematically increase your odds of winning the lottery is to buy more tickets," he told NBC. "The more tickets that you have and the more combinations of numbers that you have, the higher your chances of winning are."
Understand that it's harder to win now.
Unfortunately, your chances of winning the lottery have grown even slimmer. According to Kapoor, Powerball changed the amount of numbers you could choose to make it more difficult to win.
The flip side of that, however, is that the jackpots have grown bigger and bigger, with winners fewer and further between.
"The idea there was that the more numbers people could choose from, the more improbable it is that someone will hit a jackpot," he explained. "So you'll see the largest lottery jackpots in American history have happened over the last, really, 10 years, and that's due in large part to that change."
When Powerball made that major change, Kapoor said they also hoped that larger jackpots would push people into buying more tickets. "That has happened," he told NBC.
As Kapoor made clear in his interview, while buying more tickets increases your odds, it's still highly unlikely you'll win the lottery. With that in mind, it's important for everyone to play responsibly, and not spend more than they can afford.
"We're talking about [a] .00001 to .00002 [increase in odds]. It's still very, very improbable," he said. "Always play responsibly because it can get very dicey very quickly."
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