Can You Win the Lottery Twice and Has Anyone Done It?

Winning the lottery once is already tough to do, but can you do it twice? Learn if winning the lottery twice is even allowed in the first place.

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Adam Moelis
Sep 23, 2022
6 min read

Winning the lottery a single time is something out of most people’s wildest dreams. And while the odds of winning the jackpot on the Mega Millions, Powerball, or other multi-state game are super (super) rare, that hasn’t stopped hundreds of lucky winners from achieving life-changing odds.

It’s already impressive to win the lottery once, but is it possible to do it again? Can you win the lottery more than once, and has it ever happened before? Here’s everything you need to know.

How Does the Lottery Work?

There are several different lottery games available in every state, and each one of them has a different set of criteria. When someone talks about winning the lottery, they’re likely referring to multi-state games like the Mega Millions or the Powerball.

With these games, you’ll buy tickets at lottery retailers and choose a set of “winning” numbers. You can also have those numbers randomly selected. Either way, drawings take place throughout the week, where a set of numbers are selected. Your goal is to get all of your chosen numbers to match the numbers drawn. If you match every single one, you’ll win the jackpot prize.

There are also scratch-off tickets that work a bit differently. With lottery scratchers, you’ll scratch off areas of a card according to the rules of the specific game. These can payout prizes instantly – and you’ll take any winning tickets back to the lottery retailer to cash them in.

However, scratch tickets also have jackpot prizes that might be awarded to a few lucky people. Typically, batches of scratch-off tickets will print between five to 10 jackpot-winning tickets. If you happen to scratch off one of these, you can win a large sum of money. And even though these jackpots aren’t often as large as the multi-state games, they can still constitute a life-changing sum of cash.

Can You Win the Lottery More Than Once?

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is one in 302,575,350. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times than you do of winning this jackpot one time. So winning it twice is that much more unlikely.

But unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. Yes, theoretically speaking, if you’re lucky enough, you are able to win the lottery more than once. There is no law stating that a jackpot winner can never participate in the lottery again, so past winners can still win if they continue to play.

Your odds of winning the jackpot multiple times on scratch-off tickets are a little bit higher – but it’s still extremely rare. 

Has Anyone Ever Won the Lottery Twice?

No one has ever won the jackpot of a multi-state game more than once. However, there have been multiple times when individuals have still won big — sometimes on the same day.

A New York man named Juan Hernandez is one of the most famous examples of someone who has hit it big and defied the odds. Not only did he win the $10 million prize on the state’s $10 million deluxe scratch-off game, but he did it two times. He chose to receive his winnings in a lump sum of $6,510,000 (for each ticket).

In another scenario, a man in Michigan won $1 million on the Mega Millions twice on the same day. Samir Mazahem bought two lottery tickets and accidentally made the winning numbers on each one identical. But to his surprise, those numbers ended up winning him $1 million on each ticket respectively.

A similar situation happened to a North Carolina man named Scotty Thomas, who had forgotten he had purchased a ticket for the state’s “Lucky for Life” lottery game. Both of his tickets had the same numbers, and both ended up winning him $50,000 for the rest of his life (or a $390,000 lump sum per ticket). He decided to take the lump sum for both tickets. After taxes, that left him with just over $551,851.

So it’s not an impossible task, but it almost seems like you need to do it by accident if you want to win the lottery twice. You have the same odds of winning another ticket as anybody else in the country. Either way, there are some tips and tricks for trying to increase your odds when it comes to winning the lottery.

What Are Some Tips for Increasing Your Odds?

Keep in mind that there is no magic system for winning the lottery (unless you try cheating – which we don’t recommend). If there were, everyone would be a millionaire! But there are some tips and tricks to try to strengthen your odds if you have your sight set on a big prize.

Do Your Research

When it comes to playing scratch-offs, retailers can continue to sell tickets even if the grand prizes have already been paid out. In other words, if a game has five winning tickets that have already been claimed, a retailer can still continue to sell that respective game.

You can do some research to see how many prizes remain. This information is publicly available on the website of your state lottery, so take a look at the tickets with the most jackpots remaining. These will naturally give you the best chance of hitting big.

In fact, states have to break down every prize denomination and the odds of achieving each one. They’ll also list the number of unclaimed tickets in circulation at each one of those prize values. This is all really helpful information for helping you decide which scratchers to choose the next time you feel like playing.

Buy Multiple Tickets

The only way to truly increase your odds of winning a given lottery game is by purchasing multiple tickets. And despite the luck of people like Hernandez and Thomas, you should ensure each ticket has different winning numbers to enhance your odds.

Having multiple tickets with different numbers gives you more chances for the winning numbers to match any of the tickets in your possession. While it’s not a huge increase in odds, it does dwindle down the statistics. Buying five tickets brings your odds up to five in 302,575,350, rather than just one.

Keep in mind that every drawing is independent of a past drawing. So even if you play every single day of the year, your odds don’t increase because the prize drawing is not dependent on past versions of the lottery. You need to make sure you purchase multiple tickets for each individual drawing if you want your odds to improve.

Use Common Winning Numbers

While every single number has an equal chance of being drawn when it comes to the Mega Millions, there are five numbers that seem to get selected most often. Based on 100 drawings, the numbers 7, 21, 40, 3, and 58 were drawn the most often. The Mega Ball number most commonly drawn was 24.

The numbers that are drawn least often include 23, 50, 54, 67, and 49 – with the least common Mega Ball number being 7. With all of this in mind, you can use these statistics to your advantage the next time you decide to play.

In Conclusion

Winning the lottery doesn’t require any skill, yet it remains one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Winning the lottery once is already super rare, but winning twice is even less likely. While it’s possible (and has been done before in some respects), no one has ever won the Mega Millions or Powerball more than once.

You can enhance your odds but can’t expect to win regardless. If you’re looking to press your luck while still saving your money, you might want to try Yotta instead. Yotta is a savings account that pays out interest in prizes of up to $1 million every day – just by saving.

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