The only way to increase the chance of winning the lottery is to buy lots of tickets. This is not an affordable option for individuals but is ideal when pooling money with a group of players. Since all players in a group share the jackpot, the best time to play is when the jackpots are large enough to share. The strategy used by Mario’s Lottery Groups is to buy tickets for games when the jackpots are large in relation to the game odds and ticket prices. An average, most lottery games have an expected value of about 50%. That is, about 50% of the money collected is returned in prizes. Mario’s Lottery Groups buy tickets when the expected value is well above 50%.
Mario’s Lottery Groups is based in Canada and therefore mostly plays the Lotto 649 and Lotto Max games. But on occasion, tickets are also bought for games in other countries when the opportunity arises and the jackpots are large.
Five types of groups
There are five types of groups: ‘A’ groups, ‘M’ groups, ‘U’ groups, ‘S’ groups and ‘E’ groups. With all groups, the cost to join is $20 per share and there is no limit on the number of shares in a group. Members are permitted to buy multiple shares. Once a group participates in its first ticket purchase, then the group is closed and no new shares can be added (with the odd exception, in particular U groups).
The A groups play the Lotto 649 game whenever the jackpot is at least $25 million. There may be group plays for jackpots as low as $20 million if the number of groups recently launched is relatively low. When the jackpot is close to the minimum level, approximately half of the money held by the groups is used to buy tickets. Chances are the jackpot will roll at least one more time and the remaining money will be spent on a larger jackpot. Worst case scenario is the jackpot is won, and the remaining money is spent on a subsequent jackpot that is about the same size.
The M groups play the Lotto Max game whenever the jackpot reaches the $70 million cap. When the number of Maxmillions is close to the minimum level, approximately half of the money held by the groups is used to buy tickets. Chances are the jackpot will roll at least one more time and the remaining money will be spent on a draw with more Maxmillions. Worst case scenario is the jackpot is won, and the remaining money is still spent on a subsequent $70 million jackpot with about the same number of Maxmillions.
The U groups mainly play the two US national games – Mega Millions and Powerball. These games have extremely long odds and as such, tickets are bought only when the jackpots are very large – over $100 million. When the jackpots reach very high levels, they often continue to roll since the odds are so high. Launching a new group for every draw with a large jackpot would get very expensive to play. Therefore, groups will usually spread their money across several draws; increasing the amount spent as the jackpot grows. The target win is at least C$1 million per share after taxes.
U groups will remain open to new shares for the life of the group. But, the cost will always be $20 per share. Keeping the cost to $20 per share makes it easier to manage the groups and will give an advantage to those who join early. The only time a U group may be temporarily closed to new shares is if the target win goes below C$1 million per share. Also, members will automatically be added to a U group based on preferences only when the group first launches. Once a U group participates in a draw, a member will have to request to join the group regardless of their preferences.
The S groups play the UK Lotto whenever there is a “must win jackpot” (also referred to as a roll down jackpot). A UK Lotto draw with a “must win jackpot” is currently by far the best lottery buying opportunity across all worldwide lottery games. To take advantage of this special opportunity, sometimes multiple S groups are launched. Multiple group launches is explained below.
The E groups play lottery games outside of Canada and US. The E groups mainly play Euro Millions but may also play other games if the opportunity arises. The Euro Millions game is similar to the US national games. The odds are not quite as bad but with a high ticket price, the game is just as tough to win. As such, the same strategy is used. Groups will usually spread their money across several draws with a target win of at least C$1 million per share. Also, E groups may buy tickets when there are a bonus number of guaranteed prizes offered and the jackpot is relatively large.
E groups will remain open to new shares for the life of the group. But, the cost will always be $20 per share. Keeping the cost to $20 per share makes it easier to manage the groups and will give an advantage to those who join early. The only time a E group may be temporarily closed to new shares is if the target win goes below C$1 million per share. Also, members will automatically be added to a E group based on preferences only when the group first launches. Once a E group participates in a draw, a member will have to request to join the group regardless of their preferences.
Members can maintain a set of preferences to automate the process of joining new groups thereby never missing an opportunity.
There is a preference for each type of group. That is, preferences A, M, U, S and E. The preferences can have two types of values.
First, the preference can have the default number of shares to buy in each new group. The default value is 1 share. If a preference has 0 shares, this means the member chooses not join that type of group.
The second type of value is a target win expressed as a dollar amount. This number can be followed by the maximum number of shares. For example, a preference of “$1M max of 3 shares” means the member wishes to buy enough shares to win $1 million but restricts the maximum number of shares to 3.
The fifth and last preference is used to hold any extra instructions not covered by the five specific group preferences.
Preferences can be changed at any time by simply sending an email. Regardless of the preferences selected, exceptions can be requested for any given draw. Almost any variation on the above preferences can also be requested.
The onus is on each member to ensure their instructions have been carried out correctly by reviewing the email sent to all members prior to the draw.
Emails are sent to all members when new groups are launched, for upcoming group plays and to report draw results. On the Groups page of the website is the date of the last membership email.
The emails are personalized and contain the following member information:
– account balance
– list of active groups
– number of shares in each group
– recent transactions
Average of 3 Groups Per Month
Mario’s Lottery Group will attempt to maintain an average of 3 new groups launched per month. This is a long term average stretching over a one to two year period.
The size of a jackpot required to launch a group may be adjusted from time to time depending upon how close to the average of 3 groups per month is maintained. This is a long term average and will vary greatly on any given month.
For a member to join every group, the cost comes to about $2 a day – the cost of a daily coffee. But, there may be as many as 3 months with no new groups launched, and then we may have 15 groups launched in a short 2 month period. To adjust for this high variance, I recommend members determine how much they wish to spend per month, on average, and then make that payment every month regardless if any groups are launched in a given month. This way, if say 10 groups are launched within a short period of time, a member is not saddled with having to pay $200 at once.
Multiple Group Launches
On occasion, more than 1 group may launch to buy tickets for the same draw. This will be done to take advantage of a particularly good buying opportunity. A likely case will be when the Euro Millions or UK Lotto games have a roll down draw. That is, a draw where the jackpot is guaranteed to be won by rolling the jackpot prize down to the lower prizes if there is no winning jackpot tickets. This essentially turns the game into a raffle and usually results in an expected value of more than 100%. For example, the UK Lotto draw on October 3, 2018 was a roll down draw and the expected value was 169%.
Multiple groups will most likely result in more money being spent on a particular draw thereby taking advantage of a positive payout (expected value). Multiple groups will also probably results in smaller groups. Rather than have a single group of 100 shares, there may instead be 3 groups with 50 shares each. When a jackpot rolls down to the second tier prize category, there usually are multiple winners and therefore smaller prizes. When a prize is smaller, it is better to split among fewer number of shares.
The following is an explanation of how the launch of multiple groups will be handled.
The number of shares in each group will be balanced and as such, members will not be able to choose which group to join. The organizer will assign members to groups.
If a member buys multiple shares, then by default, the shares will be spread across the various groups as evenly as possible. For example, if 3 new groups are launched and a member buys 3 shares, then 1 share is assigned to each group. And if a members buys 2 shares, then 1 share will be assigned to each of 2 groups with an attempt to keep the size of the groups as balanced as possible.
If a member buys multiple shares, they can request a particular distribution of shares. For example, if 3 new groups are launched and a members buys 3 shares, they can request all 3 shares to be assigned to one group but they cannot decide which group. That decision remains with the organizer in order to keep the sizes of the groups balanced.
If a member’s preferences are set to buy a single share in a new group and multiple groups are launched for that type of group, then by default, the members will be assigned 1 share in all new groups. This assumes of course, they have enough funds in their account. A member always has the option to temporarily over ride their preferences for a given draw.