Players share their winning secrets to the Wisconsin State Lottery
Most of us would settle for winning the lottery just once in our lives but there’s a group of people in Wisconsin whose luck seems to run in streaks.
You can't tell from looking at him, but a mild-mannered suburban man we will only identify as Ken has a hidden power.
"If ya win, ya win. If you lose, you lose," Ken said from his understated home south of Milwaukee.
A few miles north, there's another guy with a similar ability.
We will identify him simply as Dan, but his friends call him something else.
"A lot of people call me lucky," he said.
What do these two men have in common? They are really good at winning money from the Wisconsin Lottery.
Between them, they've won $600 or more 42 times in the last five years.
Dan has been playing the lottery since the first days of Megabucks and has about $100,000 in winnings to show for it.
His biggest win came in 2014 when he hit the Pick 4 in a unique way.
On a hunch, Dan played his favorite numbers across 15 different tickets.
"It happened to hit that night, so I ended up with 15 $5,000 tickets," he said.
Ken's big payout came on a ticket most of us buy just for fun: a scratch off.
"Ten times a thousand, and then the next one was 10 times a thousand. It just didn't stop until the end of the ticket," Ken said.
That scratcher turned out to be a $200,000 payday.
But even that can be topped.
Lottery records show the state's most frequent winner over the last five years is a man from Milwaukee.
He hit a $2 million Powerball in 2012 and kept playing, winning 42 more times on the Pick 3 or Pick 4.
Number two is a man in Oshkosh who picked winners 35 times for a total of $47,000.
In third is a Pewaukee man $41,000 richer after winning with scratchers 31 times.
State lottery records show in each of those cases winners appear to plow some of their prize money into other games, something Dan says is part of his strategy.
"The one secret I do, if I win something on a certain type of ticket, the next day I won't buy that ticket. I'll switch to a different kind of a ticket just because of the odds," he said.
Those winnings help feed a hobby that costs Ken and Dan anywhere from $10 to $30 a day.
"Today was pretty normal," said Dan. "I bought a couple Pick 4s, a couple Pick 3s, a Badger 5. And I bought five scratch-offs."
"One time I bought one ticket and won $10,000. One ticket. You just don't know," Ken said.
What both these winners do know is there's not much luck involved here.
They just keep beating the odds which are stacked in favor of the lottery.
"The house virtually always wins, I just hope I get my share before the house really gets going," Dan said.