Mark McCracken, of Marion, NC, is the author of a program called The Lottery Picker , which he says will help boost your chances of winning at Powerball  or Mega Millions. The software also helps streamline the labor of buying, filling out, and checking multiple tickets. As McCracken tells us, one of his clients has purchased as many as 1,000 slips at a time. McCracken himself has thousands of users for his software, which he sells for $140.
FAST COMPANY: How does your software work?
It works based on algorithms using past numbers. It keeps a database of all the numbers ever drawn, and looks for winning combinations.
Isn’t the lotto random?
Well, it’s just a well known fact that some numbers are drawn way more frequently than others, while some aren’t drawn at all. In Powerball, a lot of numbers have never been drawn together with the Powerball. It goes through statistical information like that.
Do you think your software really makes people more likely to win the jackpot?
I do, and I use it myself, but I haven’t won the jackpot. One of my customers printed out some numbers he generated with my software, but he didn’t play them, and they would have won the jackpot. He wrote me and told me about that. I started writing this software for myself as a utility. If you play 300 numbers, going through and checking all those is time-consuming and tedious. I wrote this first to scan those numbers for me and tell me if I had a winner. I have people who use this program, and they’ll play 1,000 slips, with five numbers on each slip.
You know a guy who plays 5,000 numbers at a time?
Oh yeah, he’s one of my best customers, that one specific guy. I’ve improved my software quite a bit based on his needs alone, and the fact that he played so many numbers.
You’ve played up to 300 numbers at once?
Do you think you’re in the black or in the red on all the lotto you’ve played?
I’d say I’m in the black. I’ve not kept a running total. But I feel pretty good about it.
I understand buying one ticket, because then at least your odds aren’t zero. But 300?
You buy one ticket, you have one chance. You buy two, you have two chances. You buy 300, you have 300 chances.
What would you do if you won?
I’d probably go out to Hawaii and rent me a whole floor for me and everybody I’d take with me. I’d stay out there for two months and think about what I’d do next.
What extremes have you encountered in the world of lotto?
I talk to people on the down side. One man wrote me begging me if I knew any secrets to my program I could give him. I don’t know what kind of trouble he was in, but it was like the world was coming to an end if he didn’t get that upcoming lottery. He thought I knew secrets about my program that I don’t tell people, and he was begging me for secrets or tips I could give him to guarantee a win. I said I can’t do that. There are no secrets. I just provide the tools.
[Image: Flickr user Mark Menzies ]