Who hasn’t daydreamed about winning a huge lottery jackpot and living the good life on a Caribbean island, or wherever your definition of ‘the good life’ is?
It’s fun to list all the amazing things that would be possible with the kind of money that lottery winners enjoy. But, you fall right back to Earth when you consider the odds of winning. For example, US Powerball has jackpot-winning odds of 1:292,000,000. Not exactly a sure thing.
If the odds are stacked against us, what can we do to improve our odds of winning and retiring early to a life on the beach?
One way to improve your odds of winning a jackpot is to buy more tickets. Buy two Powerball tickets instead of one and you’ve already doubled your odds! But, you’ve also doubled your cost. It doesn’t take an economist to see that this strategy can get expensive rather quickly.
Fortunately, there is another way to boost your winning odds without breaking the bank. The way to do this is to play in a lottery syndicate.
Lottery syndicates are not complicated, they are simply a way for people to play the lottery together and increase their odds of winning without increasing the price of an entry.
Syndicates are very common in workplaces and amongst friends. Aside from offering and odds boost, syndicates are a fun and social way to play the lottery.
Here’s how syndicates work: each member of the syndicate owns a certain amount of shares in the syndicate. Each player is entitled to winnings proportional to their share ownership. For example, if a player owns 15 shares of a 100-line syndicate, that player would be entitled to 15% of the winnings.
Everyone in the syndicate enjoys the incredible winning odds of the 100-line syndicate, even if they have only one share, but winnings are paid according to how much each player has invested in the syndicate.
The UK Lotto estimates that syndicates win one out of 7 of all lottery prizes. Syndicates have also won incredibly large jackpots.
The Tennessee 20 was a made up of twenty co-workers and long-time lottery players at an auto parts factory in Tennessee. Each week for eight years they had purchased $120 worth of Powerball tickets.
In November 2016, the Tennessee 20 were the sole winners of a $420 million US Powerball jackpot. After taking the smaller cash option instead of annuity payments spread out over 29 years, each member of the syndicate was entitled to $12.7 million.
The Three Amigos syndicate was another group of colleagues, this time Maryland public school employees, who won one third of the record $656 million US Mega Millions jackpot in March 2012. The group opted for the cash option and every member of the syndicate took home $35 million after taxes.
Online syndicates, composed of players from all over the world, have had luck as well. In November 2016, online lottery ticket messenger service theLotter had its own big Powerball syndicate win. Their 65 line Powerball syndicate won $106,300, awarding 55 players from 29 countries from all over the world $1,900 each.
Not everyone who plays the lottery, even in a syndicate, is guaranteed to be a winner. However, there is no denying that syndicates give you the best odds of winning for the lowest price and that, in and of itself, is a win.