A woman buys a chance to win the Powerball jackpot. (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images)
Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images
Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Feeling lucky? Powerball jackpot grows to more than $300M

Are you feeling lucky? You could win more than $300 million Wednesday night. 

The Powerball jackpot has now climbed to $302 million. 

No one has bought a ticket matching all the winning numbers for 16 straight drawings. The jackpot was last hit April 1, when someone in Arizona who opted to remain anonymous hit a $60 million jackpot.

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The largest Powerball jackpot ever to hit was $1.586 billion, which was shared between tickets sold in three states in January 2016.

5 Fast Facts about the Powerball Lottery

7-time lottery winner shares tips for winning Powerball:

Forbes spoke to Richard Lustig, who has won seven lottery grand prizes and wrote a book about his trial and error in learning how to do so.

1. Avoid "quick-pick"

The "quick-pick" method works in number sets, which means that every number doesn't have the same amount of luck one would perceive. "Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game," Lustig told Forbes.

2. Use the entire board

Many people use birthdates and anniversaries when they fill out their cards. While your loved ones bring you priceless joy, using their special days to bring home the jackpot will likely mean that you end up splitting the prize with 20 to 40 people. Instead of just playing numbers 1-31, use all the numbers available. "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,” Lustig said.

3. Stick with your instincts

Lustig has a specific way to find the numbers with which you feel most comfortable in his book, but ultimately, once you pick the group that you think will work, stick with it. “Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” Lustig said. If playing multiple cards, have some variety in the grouping of numbers chosen to maximize your odds.

4. Be consistent

Simply put: If you want to win a particular game, follow past and future drawings to get the hang of it.

5. Don't get carried away

While winning $900 million would ultimately grant you and your loved ones financial security, it's important not to spend money you can't afford to lose (groceries, rent, etc.) on lottery tickets. If you can buy only one ticket or even 10 but not 100, that's OK. "Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called 'lottery fever,'" Lustig said. Spend what you can comfortably afford to spend on lottery tickets and no more.

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