Tips for choosing winning numbers (and what you shouldn’t do)

WASHINGTON CROSSING, PA – MAY 10: Powerball tickets await players at Cumberland Farms convenience store May 10, 2004 in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. The winner of the May 8th $213 million dollar Powerball jackpot has yet to come forward. for se

The Powerball jackpot for Saturday night is up to $1.5 billion – the third-largest lottery prize in US history! While your odds of actually winning aren’t great, experts have some tips on how to choose your numbers and which strategies they say you should avoid.

MOST COMMON POWERBALL NUMBERS

According to lottonumbers.com, the most common numbers picked in the past are (white balls):

  • 61: Draw 78 times
  • 32: Draw 77 times
  • 63: Draw 73 times
  • 21: Draw 73 times
  • 69: Drawn 71 times
  • 36: Draw 70 times
  • 23: Draw 70 times
  • 39: Drawn 69 times
  • 62: Draw 69 times
  • 59: Draw 68 times

As for the most drawn red Powerball, those include:

  • 24: Draw 45 times
  • 18: Draw 42 times
  • 4: Draw 36 times
  • 13: Draw 34 times
  • 21: Draw 34 times
  • 10: Draw 33 times
  • 6: Draw 33 times
  • 26: Draw 33 times
  • 19: Draw 32 times

LEAST COMMON POWERBALL NUMBERS

According to KNTV, the least common powerball numbers are 26, 34, 13, 46, 4 and 24 (based on the last seven years of data). The least common Powerball numbers are 23, 12, 15, 7, 16 and 20.

SHOULD YOU PICK BIRTHDAYS AS YOUR POWERBALL NUMBERS?

Many people choose family or friends birthdays as their ‘lucky’ Powerball numbers, but experts say this strategy limits your number range between 1 and 31 – and if you’ve checked out the most common numbers drawn, you’ll see that cuts you off from the top three numbers on the list.

RELATED: Powerball payout calculator: How much would you get after taxes if you won?

Richard Lustig, who has won seven lottery grand prizes told Forbes: “If you pick your own numbers and only play birthdays and anniversaries, you’re splitting the pot with 20-40 people. If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people.”

DON’T GO WITH A QUICK PICK

While you could argue that Powerball numbers are chosen randomly so why not let a computer do the same for you, Lustig says that quick picks always give you a different set of numbers, therefore your odds are always going to be that their worst.

“There is a common misconception that the odds of winning differ depending on whether you choose your own numbers or go for a Quick Pick,” Powerball.net reports. “That is not true; your chances of winning are exactly the same in both cases.”

The next Powerball drawing is on Saturday, November 5 at 10:59 pm ET.

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