There are a lot of myths about the lottery, and I'm going to bust open a few of them right now. And all this intelligence comes from the Associated Press
  • The first myth about that lottery is that the winnings always go to the little guy, but that's not true. Jack Whitaker of West Virginia was already rich when he won $300 million dollars in the largest single Powerball jackpot in history. In fact, big jackpots tend to bring out wealthy ticket buyers. But studies show the heaviest lottery players are mostly low-income men without a college degree. And they spend more than $22 billion dollars on lottery tickets every year.
  • The next myth is that you have to play big, to win big. Not true. The odds of winning the Mega Millions game are one in 135 million, no matter how many tickets you buy.
  • And the final myth is that the lottery odds change when the number of ticket-buyers rises. That's not true, either. The odds of winning stay the same, no matter now many tickets are sold. But if you play the lottery, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
  • First, don't forget to check the numbers. About 12 percent of lottery prizes are never claimed. In fact, in 1998, a $34 million dollar Lotto jackpot went unclaimed.
  • And if Grandma gives your under-age child a scratch-off and they win, you need to redeem the ticket. In some states, the ticket would become invalid if a minor tried to claim it. And in other states, the money would be kept in trust until the kid turns 19.