Straight - Option one is Straight. So if you pick 1-2-3, then 1-2-3 will have to come up in that EXACT order to win. Odds 1-1000. Prize $500 for a $1 buy-in, $250 for a .50 buy-in.

Box - Option Two is Box. So if you pick 1-2-3, then 1-2-3 wins, as well as 2-1-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2, 3-2-1, or 1-3-2. Odds 1 in 167. Prize $80 for a $1 buy-in, $40 for a .50 buy-in.

Now if you pick in the box a number such as 7-7-1. Then 7-7-1 wins as well as 7-1-7 and 1-7-7. The odds increase to 1 in 333. But the prize increases as well. $160 for a $1 buy-in and $80 for a .50 buy in.

Straight/Box - Option Three is Straight/Box. You cannot play a .50 buy-in with this option, only $1. So if you pick 2-3-4. If 2-3-4 hits, then you win $290, BUT if any other combination comes up (2-4-3, 4-2-3, 4-3-2, 3-2-4, 3-4-2) You win $40.

As above, if you Straight/Box a number such as (4-4-1). If 4-4-1 hits, you win $330. BUT if the other two combinations come up (4-1-4 or 1-4-4) You snag $80.

Combo - Option Four is Combo. Not really a unique option it is just saying that you are buying all the combinations of the number you selected at regular price. So "comboing" the number 9-8-2, means you are buying 9-8-2, 9-2-8, 2-9-8, 2-8-9, 8-2-9, and 8-9-2, exactly as if you were purchasing those numbers individually. SO it's just like six individual tickets, so the $1 buy-in

**WILL COST YOU $6**and the payout is just like winning it straight, $500. The .50 buy-in will cost you $3, payout will be $250.

As above, "comboing" a number such as (5-5-1) means you are playing 5-5-1, 5-1-5, and 1-5-5. Cost is $3 for the $1 buy-in and $1.50 for the .50 buy-in. Prizes are the same.

Before we go on, I have many people ask me about "number trends" and "hot numbers" and "numbers that haven't hit in a while", and services that will tell you, "mathematically" what numbers are "set to hit".

Put the kids to bed... are they away from the monitor? Good!

It's all bullshit!

Say in the morning the number 5-4-2 is drawn, well now you would think that there is NO WAY that 5-4-2 would be drawn in the evening right? Well not really, there was a 1 in 1000 chance for 5-4-2 to be drawn in the midday pull and there is an EQUAL 1 in 1000 chance that 5-4-2 will be drawn that afternoon. Numbers have no memory and no conscience. That's why "number runs", "hot numbers", etc, are all crap! And the illusion of some control over random chance is the reason they can build 30 story casinos in the Mississippi Delta!

For more information, I beg you to read...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

It's a little technical, but it is for your own good!

So what to play? We want to maximize the odds while minimizing our investment. Here are a few to get you started, I'll post more later.

In the post I wrote Friday, let's say you had $2. Let's look at what you have to play to win a certain amount of cash and compare that to the best scratcher at that price point.

**You want to win $40**. Play four .50 Six Way Combos. (On your card, Mark the $0.50 cent box under plays A-D, Mark the Box to the left of the word "Box" under "Type" on plays A-D, and choose any three non-repeating numbers in each of the Play Areas.)

**THE COST $2.00**,

**THE ODDS 1 in 41.67**,

**BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT**

*Arkansas Riches*

**(1 in 264!)**

**You want to win $40 with the possibility of winning $290**. Play two 6 way Straight/Boxes. (On your card under plays A and B, Mark the "STR/BOX" Box under "Type", and choose any three non-repeating numbers in each of the Play Areas)

**THE COST $2.00**.

**THE ODDS TO WIN $290 1 in 500**,

**THE ODDS TO WIN $40 1 in 100**,

**TOTAL ODDS 1 in 83.3**.

**BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT**for $40 see above, for $290

**the closest will be $200 in**

*Money Madness*at

**(1 in 5459!)**

and finally for now,

**You want to win $500**. Play two straight numbers at $1 each.

**THE COST $2.00**.

**THE ODDS TO WIN 1 in 500**.

**THE BEST $2 SCRATCHER EQUIVALENT**for $500 it is

*Jumbo Bucks*at a staggering (1 in 27,000!)

Be responsible out there folks and good luck. OH! and just for complete openness here, I am playing the Pick Three using the top option above, and I pick my numbers using a random number generator on my iPhone.