Ok. The Mega Millions drawing this Friday is over a billion dollars!  The jackpot ranks at number four on the biggest prize list. Here's how to pick the numbers and what to do after  you win.

Ok - now a dose of reality - The odds to win - 1 in 302 million.  However as the  "Mr. Positive" in our suite, I gotta use Jim Carrey's famous quote from Dumb and Dumber - "So you're saying there's a chance!"

Sooooo... let's pick winning numbers first...


Ok, let's give you a few option on picking those winners...there are five types of numbers I classify being used to pick...

1. EMOTIONAL NUMBERS - Emotional numbers are made up of non-birthday days of importance. Wedding date or Day of Life-Saving surgery are just some of the examples of of emotional numbers. These numbers (in my opinion) usually end being the most consistently played numbers because people feel there is a emotional connection that means something deeper. Thus, people tend to think they could also bring luck.

2. BIRTHDAYS - Your birthday, parents birthdays, kids birthdays are probably the most popular of all the number filled out on a Powerball game slip.  I tend to play with the birthdays of deceased relatives if a drawing falls upon their birthday.  This tactic is my "heavenly help" theory that hasn't panned out yet...but it will. Feel free to use.

3. PATTERNS - Some people choose their number based upon patterns. For example, a mother may choose numbers based upon the age differences of their kids or ages of their children at the time of drawing.  Some other examples of patterns are choosing numbers 7 digits apart of the 7th of the month...7,14, 21, 28, etc.

4. INSTANT INSPIRATION - The "instant inspiration" numbers are the ones that hit us when we are driving or at home doing nothing.  When driving they are found looking at a gas prices, a billboard, or taken from a song on the radio. At home, an instant inspiration from a child, friend or even a TV commercial.  It's a weird feeling that comes over a player to think that it is information given to them by a "higher source" to bring them a lottery win.

5. FORTUNE COOKIES - I've played fortune cookie numbers before have not won.  I don't know anybody who has won with these numbers. However, I would hate to discourage someone to go for it if they feel the numbers are lucky.


The big question - take the lump sum or get paid for thirty years...

  • Lump sum: $500 million or so is your take home after taxes. That's right Uncle Sam takes about $113 million when you choose this option. There's also a 37% top marginal tax rate which translates to more money owed on April 15th. PRO: You can get all the money now and make money off the interest and investments. CON: Most of the people that lose all their lottery have taken the lump sum.
  • Annuity: You’ll get a nice big payment to start. Then,  29 annual payments that span the next 30 years. PRO: You have a security of getting something each year. CON: How healthy are you? LOL.

OK, if you win and this information helped - please contact me LOL...

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.


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