The suit worn by Iron Man actor Robert Downey.
Last night I watched the original Iron Man movie for the first time. And it struck me that while Iron Man had control over many things, some others he didn't - as he tried to work out how to use his suit and fight the bad guys.
Just like the lottery. Some parts you can control - and I'll tell you exactly which bits now - and some you can't.
Trying to control those bad parts is like fighting the villain without knowing how to work your iron suit. So don't bother.
My experience with lottery control started long ago. I made a big decision.
I decided that I would not limit my game to the big jackpot rollovers... I would control what prize level I played at, big or small.
You see, most players will only play when the jackpot reaches a certain amount - $10m, $50m or more. They won't play up till then.
But doing that they are throwing away a larger chance of winning the many smaller prizes.
It all boils down to the control you have over your game. I win more because I have chosen to play on my terms - not be influenced by the big rollovers.
More control = more prizes.
You can control these parts of the game to get better results:
- You decide when you will play. It could be the popular days when you run the risk of sharing your prize with many others, or the less-played days when you could walk away with a bigger share. You decide.
- You choose the number of tickets. You can select according to your budget, or play more if the prize is larger. You control the outcome. Tip: More tickets is always best for a higher win rate.
- You choose your game. I always advise playing the small number games with the smallest amounts of balls and numbers. You may want to play larger prize games with larger numbers, but you will reduce your winning chances. Make your choice - you have control.
- You choose the prize amount. As I've said, some players will only play when the prize reaches a certain amount in a rollover. There is an advantage in playing the smaller prize amounts because there are fewer players sharing the prize. But the number of secondary prizes often stays the same. Decide between them, and control the amount you will play.
- You select your win payout. You have a choice between annuity (paid out monthly or once a year) or all cash. The all cash sum is often only half of the main prize, but you get it all at once. You choose what option you want.
Here are the parts of the game you should not control.
No matter how much effort you put into them, they will be no benefit to you - so just ignore them:
- A lucky store. There are no such thing as 'lucky' stores - they are simply the ones that get the most players. It makes no difference where the store is. You should buy your tickets anywhere that's convenient for you. Winning is a numbers game, just like the lottery.
- Good luck. Feeling lucky this week? Try to ignore this feeling because it will make you spend more than you need. Lottery luck cannot be felt - it is not part of intuition in the same way business people have a gut feeling about a decision. Luck is simply doing more.
- The prize amount. Big prizes tend to make you play more. So play when YOU decide, and stop throwing away wasted money. The big prizes have low winning odds.
When you control your game like Iron Man, you reduce failure and loss.