Mega Millions and Powerball Jackpots Are Just Shy of $1 Billion Combined

Playing How to Increase the Odds of Winning the Lottery

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The combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are now at nearly $1 billion in prize money. At $654 million, the Mega Millions jackpot is the second largest in that particular game's history and the nation's fourth largest ever. The Powerball jackpot is slightly lower, at $345 million.

The next drawing for the Mega Millions game is Tuesday night. No one has hit the jackpot since July 24. 

Don't start planning your vacation just yet, however. Your chances of winning are a measly one in 302.5 million, according to The Associated Press.

There are a few things you can do to increase your odds.

First, according to seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig, don't let the computer choose your numbers. Make sure to pick your own and stick with them over time "so even if you lose the next time your chances of winning with those numbers go up," he said.

If you are going to joining an office pool, he recommends "everyone has a copy of all the numbers and a list of everyone in on the pool."

But his biggest advice is: "Only play if you can afford it. Don’t be using grocery money."

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