There are never any guarantees, but with the Mega Millions Jackpot expected to reach a record half-billion-dollars for Friday night's drawing anything is worth a try!  We've researched varying ideas on how to pick winning numbers. Here you'll find advice from a seven-time lottery winner and more!

Seven-time lottery winner Richard Lustig plays the numbers like a full-time job and so far his winnings amount to more than a million-dollars.  ABC Newsspoke with Lustig about his winning streak and got him to reveal four secrets to playing the lottery. 

1.  Forget Quick Picks, pick your own numbers! 

 2.  Go online and research sets of numbers. 

3.  Learn what numbers to play and how often, then stick with your strategy. 

4.  Avoid lottery fever.  Don't spend anymore on tickets when jackpots are high than when you normally play.  Apparently the odds are still the same.)

Apparently, Lustig is not the only one who believes researching numbers can make you a winner. also suggests doing your homework.  The website suggests studying past winners can tell you which numbers come up most often and how often, and which rarely come up.  (You can visit the New York State Lottery website to research numbers that come up most frequently by clicking here.)  The site suggests playing those numbers faithfully could make you a winner. also has advice on what numbers NOT to pick:

  • Don't pick a set of sequential numbers, all even or all odd numbers or numbers that all end in the same digit. These combinations rarely win.
  • Don't pick the same set of numbers that won the week before. The odds of the same numbers coming up two times in a row are exponentially higher than the basic odds.
  • Don't limit yourself to a small set of numbers by using special dates. If a game has 80 possible winning numbers and you limit yourself to numbers below 31, you're missing more than half of the board.

If you don't have time for all that research, try which claims to analyze winning Mega Millions numbers after each drawing.  The site can tell you everything from the most picked numbers to which numbers are "hot."

There's no sure way to pick the winning numbers, but it never hurts to try something new!  We've also found a website called "pick lottery numbers" that randomly selects your numbers. You can, of course, do this with a quick pick ticket as well, but with 476-million-dollars on the line it is worth a try!

Good Luck!