Special Report: Lottery Luck
"I won $134,000 on Mega Bucks, $1 million on a $5 ticket," Michael Maxim said. "But I have hit various $10,000 tickets, $1000 scratch tickets and multiple $500 and $100 tickets."
When you add it all up, Maxim has won the lottery more than a 100 times, driving away with roughly a million and a half dollars.
This Massachusetts millionaire traded in New England winters for sunny Florida, but he still remains loyal to his home state's scratch tickets.
"Maybe $10, $15 dollars a day on scratch tickets," Maxim said.
Maxim logs on for luck at Masslottery.com.
He clicks on a little known section at the bottom of the page called instant grand prizes claimed.
That's where you can keep track of each game and find out how many grand prizes remain.
"Once all of the grand prizes of a game are won we are required to notify the general public and to pull that game from the shelves, Mass Lottery Executive Director Joseph Sullivan said.
While the website may be helpful, it's not foolproof. It may reflect that grand prizes that are still available, but that might just mean the winner has not yet come forward.
"If I see something that only has one grand prize left I'll probably avoid that ticket and I'll go more with something that still has at least half of them left," Maxim said.
Here's something else to look for: scratch tickets have numbers in the corner showing the order they're sold.
Michael's theory is that the lottery likes to give out prizes right away. He asks for tickets under the number 150.
"I have had a lot in the early stages of the book that have been big winners," Maxim said.
"It certainly is luck," professor Don Catlin said. "The lotteries go to great extremes to make sure the lottery is totally random."
From scratch tickets to the jackpot, lotto expert Don Catlin from Amherst has another theory.
Catlin's analyzed lotteries all around the country and has written a book called "The Truth Behind The Numbers."
He said it's all about luck but you can avoid sharing a jackpot by picking numbers others won't.
Many people stay away from combinations like 1,2,3,4,5,6 thinking it's too simple to win.
"I would avoid so called lucky numbers like 7, 11, 13. But also avoid 19 because those occur in a lot of birthdays," Catlin said.
"You can't win if you don't play, that's the way I look at it," Catlin said.
Whether he's a genius or just lucky, Maximís certainly figured out a way to increase his lottery luck and maybe yours too.
When it comes to prizes, Catlin said Massachusetts has some of the best scratch tickets in the country.
(Copyright 2005 by WHDHTV 7News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)