Richard Lustig: The Life and Work of the 7-Time Lottery Winner
If you’re a big lottery player who’s always on the lookout for a winning strategy, then you’ve probably heard of Richard Lustig. Famous for his multiple lottery wins, Lustig is often celebrated for his luck and success in playing the lottery. He claimed that his prizes were the result of a personal method he used to ensure wins, and spent much of his adult life sharing his secrets with other lottery hopefuls. In this article, we’ll explore Richard Lustig’s life, his work, and his supposed winning method.
Who is Richard Lustig?
Richard Lustig was an avid American lotto player who lived in Florida. He attracted media attention when it became known that he had won prizes from the state-sponsored lottery on seven separate occasions. Lustig’s first significant win was in January 1993, and his notable prizes continued until August 2010.
Once he attained notoriety for his lotto winnings, Lustig began making media appearances. He would talk about his wins and his strategy for playing the lottery, claiming that it was more than mere luck. He would even give lectures on the subject and eventually wrote a bestselling book about his method. Lustig was often called upon to make appearances on television if a jackpot got so big that it would attract national attention.
In addition to being a well-known lottery winner, Richard Lustig was also an agent in the entertainment industry. Perhaps that is how he was able to turn his lottery success story into such an enduring business.
Richard Lustig’s Total Winnings
Richard’s seven most significant lottery prizes amounted to a total of over $1 million before taxes. His first big win was from a scratch ticket in January 1993, when he snagged a prize of $10,000. His second win in August 1997 was even more significant—he took home $13,696.03 from the Florida Fantasy 5 draw. The following two wins came from second-chance drawings from scratch-off tickets and came in the form of two separate trips—first to Los Angeles (valued at $3,594.66) and then to Memphis (valued at $4,966).
Lustig’s fifth win was the biggest he ever received. He won a prize of $842,152.91 from the Florida Mega Money draw in January 2002. The last two of his seven wins both came from the Florida Fantasy 5 draw, as he won $73,658.06 in November 2008 and $98,992.92 in August 2010. In total, Richard Lustig won $1,052,205.58 before taxes. However, it is unclear what his total net worth was after his winning streak.
How Did He Do It?
Lustig says his seven wins weren’t a result of luck alone, though he didn’t realize it until after his fourth win. The multi-lottery winner created a business out of sharing the personal method he had unconsciously been using with others.
His entire "system" can be boiled down into three basic steps:
1. Pick your numbers.
2. Always play those same numbers.
3. Use your earnings to continue playing.
Lustig recommended that players always choose their own numbers instead of relying on machine-generated lines—even though in reality both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. He also explained that you should keep playing those same numbers until they win. After you’ve succeeded with that combination, then it’s time to choose new ones. He also recommended that winners should reinvest their prize money back into the lottery. He suggested that winners should spend about 33% of their prize amount on more lottery tickets. He also advised that no one should spend more on the lottery than they can afford. Another practical recommendation he offered was that the first thing winners should do is contact a financial advisor.
Despite Lustig’s belief in this strategy, none of his recommendations have any basis in mathematics or statistics—unlike multiple lottery winners such as Joan Ginther and Gail Howard—and there is no proof that his tips will lead others to success. For instance, there have been many cases of quick-pick lines resulting in a win. There have also been numerous instances of the same winning combination of numbers being drawn in separate draws. Regardless of how you choose your numbers, your odds of winning the lottery remain the same.
Lustig’s Press and Book
Regardless of the validity of Lustig’s lottery winning method, he made a career out of promoting it. He was featured in publications such as CNN Money, Huffington Post, CBS News, and was interviewed by ABC News. However, his appearances in some of these publications did garner criticism from financial journalists and writers. The video he was featured in on CNN Money was even taken down after his lottery playing advice was criticized so heavily.
Richard further profited off of his notoriety by sharing his winning method in a book entitled Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery, which was released in 2010. The book, which is sometimes also referred to as the Winning Lottery Method, became an Amazon bestseller and ranked number three on the digital retailer’s list of best self-help books in 2013. In the 40-page guide, Lustig not only shares his method but also gives practical advice to readers about what they should do when playing the lottery. Whether or not the advice it contains is going to help anyone win the lottery is widely contested, it is undeniably one of the most popular books on how to win the lottery.
Richard Lustig Scams
While Lustig seems to have been honest about his winnings and his methods, some companies and individuals use Lustig’s name for products or activities that are much more nefarious. It is not uncommon for scammers to attach Lustig to their operations in an attempt to make them more credible. Most notably, Lustig’s name has been connected to a book called Lotto Dominator, which promises readers a winning formula for the lottery and charges them $147 for the pleasure. However, Lustig is not the author of the book, and readers aren’t going to learn anything about winning the lottery from reading it. This also goes for the Lottery Winner University website and a slew of other products.
Richard Lustig’s Death
In July 2018, after an exciting life filled with incredible success with the lottery, Richard Lustig passed away at the age of 67. His wife and two children survive him.
Whether you believe Richard Lustig’s wins are the result of a unique method of playing or just dumb luck, there’s no denying that the man won an impressive amount and was savvy enough to capitalize on it. If you choose to follow Lustig’s strategy, just remember to play responsibly, as there’s no guarantee that you’ll achieve the same incredible outcomes that he managed to.