When is the best time to buy lottery tickets
Tips & Tricks

When is the Best Time to Buy Lottery Tickets?

Let’s take a closer look at the math and the myth behind the best time to buy lottery tickets.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Lottery Ticket?

Lottery tickets have long captured the imagination of people the world over. The allure of a life-changing grand prize and the thrill of anticipation often lead to passionate discussions about the optimal time to purchase that lucky lottery ticket. Some use inspiration from the lucky numbers found inside a fortune cookie, while others try to be more analytical and focus on statistical data. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of theories about the best time to buy lottery tickets.

So, when is the luckiest time to buy a lottery ticket? Is there a better day of the week or time of day that increases the probability of winning? Because the lottery is a game of chance, every ticket has an equal opportunity to be the winning ticket. This means there really isn’t a luckiest time to buy lottery tickets. So, why do people focus on the best time to buy a lotto ticket? 

Let’s take a closer look at the math and the myth behind the best time to buy lottery tickets.

Understand the Lottery Drawing Schedule

Each lottery game has its own drawing schedule and cut-off time, and it's important to know so you don’t accidentally miss them.

The cut-off time is the last possible minute tickets can be purchased for your lottery game before the drawing. The cut-off times for buying lottery tickets vary by state, but are usually 1 or 2 hours ahead of the lottery drawing. 

It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and ensure you can purchase your ticket on time. If you order your lottery tickets online, check cut-off times there too as they may be a little earlier than the cut-off in-person at a lottery retailer. As a digital lottery courier, this cut-off time ensures we at Jackpocket have plenty of time to fulfill your ticket in time for the drawing. 

On Jackpocket, the most popular time to order tickets is in the early evening, usually near the cut-off time for the game drawing with overnight to mid-morning being the least popular time to order tickets. 


On the Jackpocket home screen, a countdown counts down to the cutoff time for that lottery game.

Factors that Influence the Perception of "Lucky Times"

Everyone has their own ideas about the luckiest time to buy lottery tickets. They can be based on one's cultural background. For example, during the Chinese Lunar New Year, some users choose their lucky numbers based on the Chinese horoscope and the year they were born. Some players like to use an astrological chart to decide the best time to buy lottery tickets, and others might avoid buying tickets on the 13th of the month or never play a specific number, believing it's unlucky. These ideas give us a sense of control over the lottery’s uncertainties, helping us feel more confident in the numbers we choose.

The "luckiest" time to buy a lottery ticket is whenever it feels right. Many people wait until the jackpot grows to a large number before joining in the fun. The national sales volumes tend to be lower for the games in the middle of the week or on a Sunday, which can affect your odds of having the sole winning ticket if you do happen to win. 

So, what is the answer to the question, “Should I buy a lottery ticket today?” If you’re in one of the 19 jurisdictions where Jackpocket is available, there’s no need to wait. You can order your ticket online at that luckiest-feeling moment for you! It doesn’t matter where you are! Jackpocket takes care of everything. Choose your lottery numbers in the app, and we’ll do the rest.

Analyzing Real-World Data

If you study past lottery draws, select less frequently chosen numbers. This could increase your chances of getting a larger share of the prize if your “less popular” numbers are drawn because the odds that you have to share the prize goes down with less frequently chosen numbers.

The lottery is entirely a game of chance, but there are still some strategies that may help increase your odds of winning a bigger share of the prize if your ticket does match the winning numbers drawn. For example, if you pool your tickets with others you increase your odds of winning without having to buy additional tickets on your own. Then everyone in the pool shares the prize if a ticket happens to win.

⚡️ TIP: Increase your odds by joining a lottery pool on the Jackpocket app. Join a Jackpocket pool with other people in your state or create one for family, friends, or co-workers


Participate in the lottery with thousands of Jackpocket users in your state—friends and strangers, alike.

While there are many strategies around the possible best time to buy lottery tickets, a good strategy is to set a budget for your lottery play and stick to it. Overall, remember that playing the lottery should be fun and not create any financial strain (so don’t play with your rent money!)

Understanding Lottery Mechanics

Random chance is the essence of the lottery. Each ticket has an equal chance of success. Let's unravel what makes the lottery a game of chance.

Numerical Odds:

Winning the lottery is based on the number of possible numerical combinations. Each lottery game has a finite number of possible outcomes based on how many numbers the game uses. The more numbers used, the more possible combinations and the higher the odds of winning. A good example is the fact that there are 292,201,338 possible number combinations for Powerball. That’s a lot of combinations!

Randomness of Draws:

Lotteries use machines for their drawings, which is an essential part of understanding how lottery drawings work. These machines are filled with lottery balls for all available numbers and randomly spit out numbers from the bouncing balls using "mechanical" or "gravity pick" methods, depending on the type of machine. Each draw is an independent event, completely unaffected by previous outcomes. This is why it’s hard to predict what numbers will be drawn in each game. 

Distinction between Strategy and Chance

This is where figuring out the best time to buy lottery tickets gets really interesting. While the mechanics of the lottery are rooted in chance, many believe some strategies can tip the odds in their favor. This is why they play the lucky numbers in their fortune cookie or use birthdays and anniversaries as their lucky numbers. Do what's fun for you while still understanding that lottery outcomes are up to chance.

The Myth of "Hot" and "Cold" Numbers

Some believe that the best time to buy a lottery ticket doesn’t involve time at all but rather numbers that are considered “hot” and “cold.” 

“Hot” numbers have appeared more frequently in past draws. “Cold” numbers are the opposite. While it's true that in recent draws, some numbers appear more frequently than others, there are over 292 million possible combinations in Powerball, and all numbers have an equal probability of being selected, so those seemingly hot numbers will cool eventually.

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