- Tonight's Powerball jackpot is at R140 million.
- Four people managed to win a share of last week's R110 million.
- Business Insider South Africa went in search for tips to win, and found some solid advice, if no guarantees.
Tonight's Powerball jackpot stands at a guaranteed R140 million, the biggest in SA's 18 year Lotto history.
Four people, two from the Western Cape, each walked away with R27.5 million from last week's R110 million jackpot.
See also: Megan Markle's father once won R10 million in the lottery — and paid tuition at her private school with part of his winnings
At that size, it drew an unusually large number of very hopeful players, including television presenter Andile Gaelesiwe, who did not intend to let opportunity pass them by.
Other recent big wins will also likely encourage participation tonight. A Heidelberg man won over R5.5 million in the Powerball Plus draw on Tuesday – after buying a ticket for R30.
To see if there was a way in which we could increase our probability to win it all, Business Insider South Africa approached former Statistician-General and head of Statistics South Africa, Dr Pali Lehohla, for help.
He didn't give us the kind of help we'd been hoping for.
"There is no straight formula," he says, disappointingly.
"There is no way in which you can calculate all the possibilities until you get the right one."
Trying to cover any decent percentage of the possibilities in five numbers and one bonus number will just bankrupt you, Lehohla says – and the fact that there are two draws a week increases your chances to go insolvent.
There is one sure-fire way to increase your odds, says Lehohla, and that is pooling together money. But not just by getting friends and family together – you'd need pretty much the entire country involved in your group to get your odds looking good.
So, basically, it is all about luck.
If you are going to try your luck, here's the best way to go about it.
1. Play smart.
Have a budget and stick to it. The aim is to gain a few extra rands, not lose them, so only buy the number of tickets you can afford.
NB: Hands off the grocery and transport money.
2. Pick your own numbers.
Yes, last week three of the winning numbers came from Quick Picks. However, that does not mean Quick Picks have any advantage; randomness just works out that way sometimes. You may as well get the extra entertainment out of making up your own number selections.
3. Pool your money with others.
Yes, we know we said your family and friends are probably not enough to assure winning, but there is still strength in numbers. The bigger your group, the better.
4. Pick different numbers.
Pick as many variations as possible. Also, feel free to repeat numbers you have played before. It doesn't really matter, so, again, have fun.
5. Avoid the Birthday Syndrome.
Because no one is born on the 38th day of the 49th month. Your birthday has special properties for you, but not in lotto selections.
6. Play responsibly.
Gambling is addictive. Remember, this is just a game.
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