Beat the Odds: Best Place in California to Win the Lottery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Statisticians examine three years of lottery data to reveal the luckiest - and least lucky - counties in the state. (Published Thursday, May 22, 2014)

    Location, location, location. When it comes to beating the odds, where you buy your lottery ticket could affect your chances of winning, according to one analysis.

    Rick Shoenberg, chairman of the statistics department at UCLA, didn't expect there to be much difference from one place to the next.

    “Each player should have just as much chance of winning the lotto as any other player,” Shoenberg said. “I was very skeptical that there’s anything other than luck going on with the lotto."

    But his analysis shows that players in one California county come home with winning tickets more often than players elsewhere.

    Three years of California State Lottery data show Santa Clara County has more winners per ticket sold of the popular Mega Millions, Powerball, Super Lotto Plus and Fantasy Five games than any other county in the state.

    Southern California's Orange County was the second most “statistically” lucky county. 

    At Jennifer’s Gifts Shop in San Jose, a $342 million winning ticket was sold in December. 

    "My dreams come true," said the shop's owner, who gave his name as Ngyn.

    But, according to Schoenberg, the likelihood of a repeat is low.

    “One in 80 that Santa Clara would be able to repeat something like that,” he said.