SEAGROVE, N.C. -- Phil Morgan says it all so matter-of-factly.
“I've hit more times than anybody in the state of North Carolina,” says Morgan of the state lottery. “The best guestimate, 300 times.”
Rarely the big prizes, but big enough – probably a half million in winnings, overall. He really doesn’t keep a close count.
“It's the thrill of playing and it just keeps you looking for the next drawing,” he says.
But he doesn’t do it casually. Morgan, who is also famous as a master potter in the world-renowned Seagrove pottery area, has a plan.
“I’m a math guy,” he says.
And knows how these things work well enough to know how to play to improve your odds.
Rather than the scratch-off tickets, he prefers the, “machine games.” Those are the ones in which you choose the numbers, as in the Pick 3 or Pick 4 games. You pick a number and then play it. And play it again; and again; and again.
One number in that 0-9 digit set has hit each of the last five years.
“If you play two tickets, every day, you'd have $3,500 in it but had won $25,000,” he says.
If you’re thinking you want to become the next Phil Morgan, he has some advice.
“I would tell them to decide how much they can afford to play,” he says. “If they can afford to play $2 a day, just pick them a Pick 4 number and play that number every day. If it hits, they get $5,000. So they're paying $2 a day -- so they've spent $15 a week -- for the chance to win $5,000.”
See the rest of Morgan’s method in this edition of the Buckley Report.