Every Wednesday and Saturday, at 10:59 p.m., EST, you have a chance to win *millions*. All you have to do is pony up two bucks—and guess the Powerball winning numbers. Easy enough.

That’s the main sell of the Powerball, a lottery game organized by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). You can play the game in every state—and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—except the six where lotteries are prohibited. In other words, if you live in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, or Utah—sorry. Per MUSL figures, if you play, you have a 1 in 24.9 chance (about 4 percent) of winning *something*.

What MUSL doesn’t make clear, however, is that “*something*” amounts to $4. You’ll have doubled your earnings, yes, but also likely spent more on gas driving to claim your prize. To actually win big—in other words, the jackpot, which, as of this writing, means $455 million, either in the form of a singular whopping check or a 30-year annuity payment plan—your chances are, oh, 1 in 292,201,338 (roughly 0.0000000003%).

Surely, there’s a way to even the odds. Right?

## The Rules

For the uninitiated, here’s how Powerball works: There are six balls—five white (the main balls) and one red (the power ball). For the main balls, you choose five numbers between **1** and **69**. For the power ball, you choose one number between **1** and **26**. Guessing the numbers right means you win. Guessing them wrong means, well, you don’t—and you’re out a small coffee (or something else that costs two dollars).

If you so desire, you can have the numbers automatically chosen for you. But, by doing so, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to play the odds.

## The Most Common Powerball Winning Numbers

MUSL purports that the Powerball winning numbers are chose entirely at random. Still, the math is inarguable; some numbers show up at a higher rate than others. According to the number crunchers at lottery stats tracker Lunchtimeresults.com, these are the top ten most recurring main numbers:

**26:** 282 drawings

**41:** 276 drawings

**16:** 275 drawings

**32:** 273 drawings

**28:** 272 drawings

**22:** 269 drawings

**23:** 269 drawings

**39:** 267 drawings

**42:** 266 drawings

**40:** 265 drawings

And these are top five most recurring power ball numbers:

**6:** 85 drawings

**20:** 83 drawings

**9:** 82 drawings

**11:** 76 drawings

**2:** 75 drawings

### The Least Common Powerball Winning Numbers

On the other hand, if you’re opting into the game, there are few values you may want to steer clear from. (It’s worth noting that, over the years, MUSL has increased the numeral range on both main and power ball drawings. Since stats trackers tally up the total drawings *of all time*, that’s why these numbers have been drawn less frequently. Still, these numbers have been around long enough that the drawing rate should be higher than what it is.)

Here are the main numbers:

**65:** 13 drawings

**60:** 16 drawings

**67:** 18 drawings

**66:** 20 drawings

**68:** 20 drawings

**61:** 24 drawings

**62:** 25 drawings

**63:** 25 drawings

**64:** 27 drawings

**69:** 29 drawings

And here are the power ball numbers:

**45:** 13 drawings

**43:** 14 drawings

**44:** 14 drawings

**41:** 29 drawings

**40:** 33 drawings

## The Most Likely Way to Win

You can snag smaller prizes by setting your sights a little lower than the jackpot. Winning is still a long shot, of course, but it’s not anything like a 1 in 292 *million* long shot.

For instance, if you guess four white balls correctly (1 in 36,525), you’ll win $100. If you guess four white balls and the power ball (1 in 913,129), you’ll win $50,000. And if you get all five of the white balls correctly, you’ll win $1 million (1 in 11,688,000).

What’s more, those figures don’t factor in so-called power plays, where, for a dollar extra, you can multiply your potential spoils by two, three, four, five, or *ten* times. In recent drawings, power plays have tended toward the lower end: two or three. And, per lottonumbers.com, a ten has only been drawn seven times since being introduced in 2015. (MUSL claims the power play is utterly by chance.)

## The *Best Life* Bet

**4**, **8**, **15**, **16**, **23**, **42**. Because the odds of winning even the $1 million prize are roughly the same as what happened to the plane in *LOST*. For savvier ways to invest your hard-earned dough, learn the 52 Ways to Be Smarter With Money.