The Ritual of Buying Lottery Tickets: What do you do?


Before California had Mega Millions, their big money game was SuperLotto Plus, a lotto game very much like Mega Millions. You have to pick five numbers from 47 and then a Mega number from a field of 1-27.

And while more attention in California is always focused on the huge numbers brought in by the Mega Millions game, every once in a while, you get a nice SuperLotto Plus run, as is the case now.

California’s SuperLotto Plus jackpot is up to $53 million, after no winner was recorded for Saturday’s drawing. The next drawing is Wednesday.

Saturday’s results were; 9, 11, 27, 36, 39 and the Mega number 10.

So California Lottery officials decided to have some fun. They went out looking for lottery stories from players and found some interesting rituals.

Christine Phillips from Bakersfield said she always buys her tickets on the way to work on the morning of the drawing day.

“I used to not think about it so much,” Christine said. “One time a few years back I stopped to get gas on the way to work and bought my tickets and I hit four numbers. That’s the best I have ever done. Now I force myself to stop at the same place every time. It’s my lucky spot!”

Ernesto Gomez of El Cajon says he always buys his tickets, never his wife. “She’s got some bad mojo when it come to things like that, if she get the tickets we will never win.”

A little extra luck or staying away from bad mojo can’t hurt.

When I worked for the California Lottery, about four years ago, I met up with people who had even stranger rituals.

Donald Kerrigal, of Los Angles, told me he goes to the same store, on the night of the draw, about half an hour before the 10 p.m. (Pacific time) close. “But what if the machine is down?” I asked him. “Then I have a backup store.” And if the system is down? He looked at me blindly and shrugged his shoulders.

Merrie Worth, of Hollywood, only buys from a particular cashier.

So, what’s your ritual? Best ritual gets a signed copy of my year 2000 book (now out of print), Jackpot.

The numbers game:

Tonight’s Mega Millions Jackpot is worth $42 million.
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is also worth $42 million.

Good luck.

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Married to a beautiful (and extremely intelligent--- smarter than I am) South African woman. One child (brilliant). I've written three books, only one now available. Editor in chief of magazines...former managing editor .... news reporter, magazine writer, joker, sometimes a fool, lottery expert, lover of old, classic movies, music fanatic, Science Fiction fan (Warhammer 40,000, Game of Thrones). Goal for next year: Walk the Camino de Santiago. Into metaphysics, Esther Hicks (Abraham), Louise Hay


  1. I travel all over the US due to my job so I play multiple lotto games in every state that has them. I look for genuine “mom & pop” type stores instead of corporate/chain stores for my purchases.

    I pick the stores but I have 3 grown kids and 2 grandchildren, so when I find a store I want to buy a ticket from I text my family members and have them each pick a number and those are the numbers I play in addition to a QP. I have my husband pick the powerball, megaball, numbers.

    Families have power when they stick together, and while we haven’t hit any big jackpots yet, we do OK on small ones.


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