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Why are first time lottery players so lucky?

Fri 11 Nov 2016, By Patty Reynolds
Why are first time lottery players so lucky?

How many times have you read about a lottery winner walking away with a substantial check this first time they play the lottery? It happened earlier this year to Andrew Norberg from New London in Connecticut.

The US Powerball jackpot had just topped the one-billion dollar mark when Andrew decided to buy a ticket.

But having never played the lottery before, Andrew had no idea how it worked. When the results were announced, Andrew realised he hadn’t picked the winning Powerball number. He thought his ticket was worthless, but decided to ask a co-worker if it was possible that he might still win something for matching five numbers correctly.

As any Powerball fan knows, this is your ticket to becoming an instant millionaire. The second-prize division for the US Powerball is a guaranteed $1 000 000. Andrew couldn’t believe luck and knew that the money would be put to good use for his upcoming wedding. And while it’s great that the prize went to such a deserving winner, it can be a bit infuriating for those of us who having been playing the lottos for years.

In the same Powerball draw, another winner from Florida won $2 000 000. Frederik Walker was only 19 years old when he decided to play the lottery for the first time. Like Andrew, he’d heard that the Powerball jackpot was now sitting at one billion dollars and decided he’d give it a go. What’s even more incredible about Frederik’s story is that he didn’t even pick his own numbers. When he reached the counter, he discovered a completed playslip that someone had abandoned. Figuring their numbers were as good as any he could pick, he bought his ticket and didn’t think about it anymore.

Lucky first times aren’t unique to the Powerball either. Last year, a family from Ireland won €500 000 on the EuroMillions with their very first ticket. With a little searching, you’ll find countless stories of beginner’s luck when it comes to the lottery. But is it really true that beginners are luckier?

The term ‘beginner’s luck’ is simply a name we give to something we can’t understand. Whether it’s playing the lottery or learning to play the piano, some people seem to pick things up without needing much help. But to counter that, consider the millions of people who play the lottery for the first time and don’t win anything. There are plenty of those stories floating around too. But perhaps you could find a way to replicate beginner’s luck?

Those who play the lottery every week with the aim of winning the jackpot usually spend some time getting to know the rules of the game and agonising over their lucky numbers. The next time you buy lottery tickets online; why not try a different strategy. Instead of playing the American lottery online, try one of the European or Spanish lotteries?

You can play EuroMillions online too. Or even the Australian Powerball. Part of the reason that beginners seem so lucky is because they’re willing to try something new. Being open to new experiences may change your luck for the better. Countless studies have been done that show people who consider themselves lucky are often open to trying new things. This opens up possibilities that the rest of us miss out on.

And instead of spending hours trying to figure out a winning combination, go with your gut or use the Quick Pick option. When we try too hard to get something right, we often end up sabotaging our efforts. We overthink things and end up spoiling it. Playing the lottery is supposed to be a bit of fun, and if you end up being the biggest EuroMillions winner, it’s the icing on the cake. So forget all the tips you’ve ever read about choosing your lotto numbers and go with what feels right. Relying on your instincts could be exactly what you need to do to win that jackpot.

Finally, you might want to try changing the way you think about the lottery. Positive thinking goes a long way. If you buy lottery tickets online every week, despite the fact that you don’t believe you’ll win, stop it right now. Change your pattern of thinking to something more positive. Use visualization techniques and practice seeing yourself as a jackpot winner. Picture that big check with all those zeros in as much detail as you can and concentrate on evoking that image every day. You could will your dream into reality by sending out positive thoughts.

Of course, sometime it pays to keep trying. You only have to look at the story of the syndicate of co-workers from Wisconsin who won a $1 000 000 Mega Millions prize after playing the lottery for 14 years. Persistence does pay off when it comes to playing the lottery. So whether it’s your first time, or you’re a lottery pro, there’s a jackpot waiting for you.