9 Ways Big Lotto Winners Picked Their Winning Numbers


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With Mega Millions and Powerball on the rise, a lot of us are playing the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” game. 

The first stop on the path to that dream of winning the BIG bucks? How to choose those winning lottery numbers.

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9 Ways Lottery Players Choose Their Winning Numbers

1. Birthdays & Anniversaries

Many people choose numbers that hold personal significance, such as birthdays or special dates. In the case of this $25K-a-year-for-life winner in North Carolina, it was a mash-up of a few personal digits: her birthday, her son’s birthday and his football jersey number. 

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2. Lucky Numbers

Some winners have relied on numbers they consider lucky or have a positive association with. A $1,000,0000 Cash4Life winner told Jackpocket that their father’s lucky numbers became their own: “Those [winning Cash4Life] numbers were actually my father’s numbers. My father passed away, so I’ve been playing his numbers ever since.”

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3. Going Random

Numerous winners have opted for completely random number combinations, either using Quick Picks or generating them through random number generators. Jackpocket’s record $9.4 million winner told us that of her five Pick-6 tickets on that fateful drawing, two of them were Quick Picks and three of them were a combination of birthdays and important dates. This time, the Quick Picks had it! The winning numbers? 04, 28, 31, 37, 41 and 43. 

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4. Family Member’s Ages

Some winners have selected numbers based on the ages of their family members, such as children, parents, or siblings. Don’t forget pets! A Jackpocket player in New Jersey won $1,000,000 with this strategy: “Everything was an age or a birthday. The first one was my wife and then my youngest son. The third one was me and then the dog.”

(RelatedHow to Play Pick 3 Lottery – Florida)

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5. Random Patterns

Some winners have chosen numbers based on random patterns they observed in their surroundings, such as objects or patterns in nature. And this one’s pretty random: a Maryland lottery player used the license plate number from her wrecked car to win a $25,000 lottery prize.

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6. Dreams & Intuition

A few winners have claimed to have received their winning numbers through dreams, visions, or other forms of intuition. A Jackpocket player in New Jersey said his winning numbers came to him in dreamland. “The numbers came clear to me and I played them,” he said.

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7. Recurring Numbers

Some winners have noticed certain numbers repeatedly appearing in their lives and decided to include them in their lottery number choices. In April 2019, Deborah Brown of Richmond, Virginia kept seeing the same four numbers. When she decided to do something about it and play, she won $150,000. She said, “I nearly had a heart attack!” 

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8. Fortune Cookies

Don’t throw away that fortune! A recent retiree in North Carolina played some fortune cookie numbers from a Vietnamese restaurant given to him by his granddaughter. Those numbers netted him a $344.6 million Powerball! 

(RelatedHere Are the Luckiest Mega Millions Numbers in 2024)

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9. Previous Winning Numbers

Some winners have incorporated previously drawn winning numbers into their combinations, assuming that they may have a higher chance of repeating. Ralph Laird of California created a computer program that randomized previous winning Lotto numbers. He went on to win $27.58 million, a California Lottery record high back in 1990! We rounded up the most drawn Powerball numbers of 2024 if you’d like some inspiration. 

This article originally appeared on Jackpocket.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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