Tout shows how you can beat the Massachusetts lottery -- if you roll big

The Massachusetts Lottery can be beaten, much like a casino can be beaten if you can count cards, according to Mark Muir, the Million Dollar Idea Guy.

I'm no whiz at math, so we'll have to go with the premise that Muir knows his math and knows what he's talking about. Here's his idea, which he says will pay back more money than you put in by buying lottery tickets. It's all about increasing your odds.

The Massachusetts Lottery has a $2 game called Cash Winfall, where a player must pick six numbers out of a total of 46. Match all six and win the jackpot. And like many lotteries, if nobody matches all six, the jackpot rolls over to another draw.

The difference with this lottery is that once it reaches $2 million, which is about eight to 10 times per year, and there isn't a jackpot winner, then the prizes for all of the players who matched three, four or five balls are increased by up to 10 times their normal value.

As Muir puts it, if you place enough bets on a draw when the jackpot reaches $2 million, you are statistically guaranteed to make money.

He points out that the odds of matching 2, 3, 4, and 5 balls are 1 in 6.83, 47.4, 800.58, and 39,028.41, respectively. Read his post for the details, but he follows that out to 5,000 bets for a $10,000 investment, which the odds would lead to 732 tickets to match two balls, on average, 105 to match three, six to match four, and a 12.8% chance to match five balls.

If the statistical probabilities played out, the $10,000 investment would pay $14,280. This ratio of investment to winnings is a 42.8% return, or $1.428 in return for each dollar invested over the long term.

However, bad luck could fall upon your head, statistically. Someone could match six and win the jackpot, or the jackpot wouldn't get up to $2 million,or you might pick bad numbers outside of the average, or too many people also try this method and dilute the winnings, or you don't have enough money to bet that the high-paying five matches will hit.

The bad news is the Cash Winfall lottery hasn't come close to $2 million so far this year. The current estimated jackpot is $1,125,000. You may want to wait awhile before trying out Muir's idea.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at

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