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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Mega Millions jackpot tonight is $640 million–the biggest payoff ever.
Yes, you could play your kids’ birthdays, or your anniversary, or some similar combination.
But that’s for amateurs!
With more than a half billion dollars at stake, you need to take a harder look at the numbers.
What are the most common numbers drawn in the Mega Millions?
According to lottostrategies.com the hottest numbers in the past 50 drawings are: 4, 29, 36 and 48. The number 29 has been selected nine times, while 4, 36 and 48 have hit eight times. 3, 24, 26, 30, 35 and 51 have each been selected seven times.
Since June 2005, the most common numbers are: 12, 27, 31, 36, 48, 51, 52 and 53.
The number 48 is the most popular number, selected 83 times. 36 and 53 were picked 74 times. The numbers 12, 51, 27, 31, and 52 were each chosen 72 times.
As for the Mega Ball, the four most common numbers picked since 2005 are 36, 9, 7, and 35, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
None of this changes your actual odds of winning, which are 1 in 175,711,536. The chances of you having to share the jackpot with other players will increase with a higher than usual number of people expected to play.
If you want to know which numbers are least popular (think: overdue) since 2005: 41 and 49. In past 50 drawings: 11, 12, 14, 41 and 55 (each picked once).
There are mobile phone apps that can help you crunch the numbers, too. The 99 cent Lottery Analysis Pro is available through iTunes.
For Android, you can shop for a variety of lottery tools, too.
There are things in life that actually have higher odds: like picking all the games correctly in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
That’s never been done. Somebody, someday, will win this lottery.
So whether you pick your own lucky numbers, leave it to the machines or try to play the “system,” good luck!