# MegaMillions How to Play: Strategies for Winning

While the odds of winning the lottery on the next Mega Million - which has surpassed a record \$640 million - are slim, some have offered up strategies on the best way to play.

Lottery officials have confirmed that the odds of winning the current mega million jackpot are about one in 176 million. That number, however, hasn't stopped hopefuls eager for their opportunity to win big.

With a building frenzy surrounding the jackpot, some have suggested that there are definitely strategies to increase the odds. One strategy involves tracking.

"Numbers that appear often in a certain game are called hot numbers. Some players will play these hot numbers exclusively on the assumption that since they have appeared often in the past, they should appear again in the future," TLC explained.

Making the strategy more complex, trackers also follow "cold numbers" or ones that haven't hit in a long time. The idea is similar to roulette, if a black number hasn't hit in five rounds it seems like a safe bet to throw money on black.

Doubters of this method might also want to note that the very first winner to ever take home the Texas Lotto Jackpot was a tracker.

A second technique is called "wheeling." Wheeling involves playing the same set of numbers from multiple tickets, in different arrangements.

"Wheeling consists of making up a master list of your best picks, then, using a coded system, playing them in different combinations in a sort of round-robin. Some wheels even carry specific win guarantees," TLC confirmed.

What may shock some is that there are actually wheel experts from whom you can purchase your own wheel. Of course if all of that sounds like too much work, you can head for the office pool instead.

The "pooling" method involves a number of people getting together to share the expense of tickets in order to buy more tickets. However, don't forget that means sharing the jackpot too, although it may not be too terrible to share 6 million with a couple of people.

Despite such strategies and the many others that exist, some mathematicians say that such efforts are in vain.

"Some numbers do seem to definitely appear more than others comparing the standard deviation," Matthew Vea, an army reservist and programmer said. "However, that said, I do joke that if that kind of analysis truly did produce a winning result, I would be a millionaire by now. The fact that I have a day job shows there's no predicting the lottery."

To the tune of the new, hottest selling box-office hit, "may the odds be ever in your favor."

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