Here are 9 startling facts about playing the lottery you thought were true

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Many lottery players live in a bliss-filled world of ignorance, believing all kinds of strange and twisted myths about tickets, chances and luck. Thank goodness for the Lotto Life blog to set them straight!

Winning is just the start of a happy life, but make sure you've got all the facts right first.

Here's 9 so-called facts that many people believe to be true, but are not:

1. If you buy your tickets near to the cut-off time, your tickets will be 'higher' on the winning list.
Not true. Definitely an urban myth. Your tickets get equal opportunity in the draw no matter when you buy them.

PHOTO: Express-Times Photo | MATT SMITH

2. Certain numbers always appear in the winning combinations, and you should always include them.
Not true. This is a fallacy, like hot and cold numbers. Numbers don't have a memory, they all appear at random times.

3. If you buy at a 'lucky' store your chances of winning are increased. 
Not true. There's no such store. It is simply a place where more people have bought their tickets than anywhere else. When a place gets more winners than another, it's usually because they have more customers. It's a numbers game... popular is just another name for lucky and gets similar results.

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4. It's the Chinese year of the Rat/Pig/Mongoose, and since I wasn't born in that year I won't be lucky.
Not true. It is just another example of how badly superstition can distort the facts. Make sure you are playing to my System and forget about so called good and bad years - there's no such animal.

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5. Winning lotto is pure luck.
While luck plays a small part in your wins, luck can be manufactured by increasing the number of tickets and increasing the number of games you play.

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6. Hot and cold numbers show the way to winning.
Not True. Mathematically, yes, there are such numbers. The problem is whether these mythical numbers will appear on the exact draw you want them to. Same with recurring numbers, numbers rarely drawn, and popular numbers that may appear in most draws but never when you want them.

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7. You don't need to pay tax on your winnings. 
Not true. In many countries you have to pay certain taxes after your win, and in the USA taxes are often deducted from the win before you get it. But there are some countries where you don't pay any tax on the win at all. These following countries pay out a lump sum immediately, tax-free, to all lottery winners: Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, United Kingdom.

An old promotion by USA's now-closed Hot Lotto. They pre-paid the taxes on wins.

8. If you have a winning ticket, you have no more worries. 
Not true. If you don't sign the back of the ticket it could get stolen and cashed in. If you buy your ticket a few seconds after the appointed cut-off time your tickets go into the next draw - even if they were the winning tickets. No amount of wailing or complaining will bring them back. And if you have a winning ticket but didn't know about or had forgotten, you must present it before the time that the lottery organisation requests for late returns, usually 180-365 days.

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PHOTO: The Sun

9. You have to accept yearly payments (annuities) from your win instead of the full amount.
Not true. If you have no choice in selecting an annuity - which usually happens if a winner has gifted it to you in a will or inheritance - there are firms who will buy your annuity payout and give you a lump sum. (As always, check with your financial experts first).

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GRAPHIC: The Telegraph

Now that you know a bit more about lottery facts, try our quiz and see how well you can distinguish fact from fake: