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7-time lottery winner shares tips for winning Powerball

Published: Saturday, January 09, 2016 @ 7:58 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 09, 2016 @ 12:19 PM

Tips on Winning the Lottery

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Powerball fever around the U.S. is almost as high as the record $900 million grand prize that may be claimed Saturday night.

Believe it or not, the chances of getting struck by lightning, dating a supermodel or becoming president (among other feats) are all more likely than winning Saturday's grand prize. 

Those are all more likely unless you are Richard Lustig, of course, who has won seven lottery grand prizes and written a book about his trial and error in learning how to do so.

Forbes spoke to Lustig ahead of tonight's drawing and procured some of his expert advice on how to win the jackpot.

>> Powerball overview: How to play, odds, payouts, etc.

1. Avoid "quick-pick"

The "quick-pick" method works in number sets, which means every number doesn't have the same amount of luck one would perceive. "Every time you buy a quick pick, you get a different set of numbers; therefore, your odds are always going to be at their worst in that particular game," Lustig said to Forbes about the Powerball. 

2. Use the entire board

Many people use birthdates and anniversaries when filling out their cards. While your loved ones bring you priceless joy, using their special days to bring home the jackpot will likely mean you end up splitting the prize with 20-40 people. Instead of just playing numbers 1-31, use all the numbers available. "If you spread the numbers out across the whole track, you’ll either be the only winner or will split it with only one or two people,” Lustig says.

>> Why you don't want to win the Powerball jackpot

3. Stick with your instincts

Lustig has a specific way to finding the numbers you feel most comfortable with in his book, but ultimately, once you pick the group that you think will work, stick with it. “Remember, a set of numbers wins the grand prize, not individual numbers,” Lustig says. If playing multiple cards, have some variety in the grouping of numbers chosen to maximize your odds.

4. Be consistent

Simply put: If you want to win a particular game, follow past and future drawings to get the hang of it.

5. Don't get carried away

While winning $900 million would ultimately grant you and your loved ones financial security, it's important not to spend money you can't afford to lose (i.e.: groceries, rent, etc.) on lottery tickets. If you can only buy one ticket or even 10 but not 100, that's OK. "Set a budget of what you’re going to spend. Do not get caught up in what’s called 'lottery fever,' Lustig says. Spend what you can comfortably afford to on lottery tickets and no more.

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911 operator sentenced to jail, probation for hanging up on emergency calls

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:23 AM

911 Operator Accused of Hanging Up on Calls Sentenced to Jail, Probation

She was supposed to be the connection between residents and emergency services, but instead of speaking to callers to the Harris County 911 center, she hung up on them. Creshanda Williams found out this week she will be spending time in jail and on probation for not dispatching help.

Williams was found guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, KTRK reported.

The investigation of Williams’ calls started after Jim Moten said he dialed 911 after seeing two vehicles speeding. He thought his call was dropped after 45 seconds. The call wasn’t dropped, he was hung up on. Court documents said that Williams was the person who answered Moten’s call and hung up, saying “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.”

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Court documents said that Williams had an abnormally large number of what are called “short calls,” or calls that last less than 20 seconds. The documents stated that “thousands of short calls have been attributed to the defendant from October 2015 through March 2016,” KTRK reported.

Williams worked for the 911 call center for a year and a half, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The calls she received ranged from robberies to homicides in addition to speeding cars, KHOU reported. Williams allegedly told investigators that she hung up on calls because she didn’t want to talk to anyone.

Williams has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation, the Chronicle reported.

Her supervisor had been placed on a year of internal probation, officials said last year, the Chronicle reported.

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College students create app making it easier to track diabetes

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:11 AM



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When it comes to diabetes, the numbers are staggering -- 30 million Americans are estimated to be living with the disease, 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States and about 25 percent of those patients don’t know they have the disease.

Those numbers caught the attention of some Harvard students who came up with an easy way for people to track their blood sugar levels.

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It’s an app called Checkmate Diabetes.

Harvard graduate student Michael Heisterkamp is part of the team developing the app and is also a diabetes patient. 

“You need to check 4-5 times a day, up to eight times a day, depending on what your doctor recommends, and that can be a bit of a grind," Heisterkamp said.

All those tests are essential for a person with diabetes because they need to make sure they’re in a safe range.

Dr. Jason Sloane, an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said ‘the biggest problem is, once complications hit, it’s very hard to reverse them.”

Harvard senior Emi Gonzales got the idea for the app when there was a guest speaker in a class.

“He had lost his leg and was about to lose his other leg," Gonzales said. "And I talked to some more people with diabetes and this just seemed like a situation that needed fixing.”

The app makes a game out of tracking blood sugar levels, creating competitions within a person’s network. 

“If you have a scoring system and someone is doing better than you, pushing you, you know you want to get to first right," Gonzales said.

Checkmate Diabetes also offers the ability to connect with other patients.

Soon, they’ll start adding prizes.

Sloan, who has consulted with the budding entrepreneurs, said gamification has been shown to work for health care.

He believes this approach can get people to pay attention to diabetes earlier. 

“It has the potential to change things dramatically,” Sloan said. “Convincing young people, from my experience, has been very difficult. Even from a personal perspective, one of the last things I wanted to pay attention to was my blood sugar.”

Dr. Sloan said earlier interventions can reduce serious complications like kidney failure, amputations, and heart disease later in life.

Checkmate Diabetes is free to download.

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Tortoise covered with paint, concrete discovered in Florida

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:30 AM

Good Samaritans Rescue Tortoise Covered in Paint, Concrete

A gopher tortoise covered with red spray paint and concrete was discovered near Montverde, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday in a Facebook post.

A pair of good Samaritans spotted the tortoise, which had concrete on its shell and limbs, in the middle of County Road 455 and took it to a wildlife rehabilitation center, officials said.

"It is both illegal and very harmful to the health of a gopher tortoise to apply man-made substances, such as paint or concrete, to any part of their body or shell," the post said.

Gopher tortoises are protected because they're considered a threatened species in Florida.

Read: Lake County man dug up gopher tortoises to eat them, deputies say

Read: 65-year-old woman has had pet tortoise 56 years

"Removing paint and concrete from gopher tortoises without harming it is a challenging process that causes the animal stress," the post said. "Applying substances like paint on tortoises can inhibit their ability to absorb vitamins from the sun’s UV rays through their shells, has the potential to cause respiratory problems and can lead to harmful chemicals being absorbed into their bloodstream."

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Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call FWC at 888-404-3922 or email the agency at tip@myfwc.com.

Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Click here to read more information about gopher tortoises.

Read: California tortoise with cracked shell gets $4K repair

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Burglary suspect tries to disguise face with plastic water-bottle case wrapper

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:05 AM

VIDEO: Suspect Uses Plastic Water-Bottle Case Wrapper to Disguise Face

Police in Georgia have identified the suspect who burglarized a game store using an unusual disguise. 

The St. Marys Police Department said they have obtained an arrest warrant for 22-year-old Kerry Dean Hammond, Jr.

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According to police, surveillance video shows him running around the store with the plastic wrapper from a package of bottled water over his head. 

The break-in happened on April 13 around 1:30 a.m. 

The St. Marys Police Department shared the video to its Facebook page and said the “craftily disguised gent decided to burglarize GameStop.” 

The video has been viewed more than 17,000 times. 

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