Oklahoma lottery winners discuss their methods
What's in a number?
Just ask Charles and Laura Fay of Foss in western Oklahoma.
The couple won $1 million playing Powerball on March 17 with numbers that Charles derived while driving his tractor-trailer rig.
"He (Charles) would just be driving, hauling fuel, and he had a long route. Charles had some numbers floating around in his head, and we used those," Laura Fay said.
"We happened to be pretty lucky. We use the same numbers as a set each time we play. And if we miss playing if we go on vacation or something, we don't worry about it. But we just use the same numbers every time."
Some people use children's birthdays, ages, specific dates or even the back of fortune cookies.
For Karen Bowman of Hectorville, who normally plays twice a month, it is something a little more complicated.
She lets her husband come up with the numbers, and the couple normally buy five tickets at a time.
"We do a set of numbers, but my husband normally picks them. He had a '26 and '27 Model T; he was 56, I was 55; our daughter was born in the ninth month," Bowman said. "We used those numbers for a while."
Susie Lovins, a friend of Bowman's, also allows her husband to choose the numbers they use.
"He picks the numbers. We have six kids, and we usually use their birthdays. If he runs through all those numbers, then he uses the grandchildren's birthdays," Lovins said.
Other players allow the computer to generate their potential winning numbers, like Russell Trupia of Locust Grove, who won $40,000 on Sept. 6.
"I actually used an electronic pick, and the only number I picked by myself was the Powerball number," Trupia said.
"My kids were telling me that they had read, or had heard, that the odds were better with an electronic pick. So that's what I did."
Trupia plays once a week, and he has not won since hitting the jackpot in September.
"Since then, I've been getting numbers that have been relatively close to the jackpot. I don't know if that's a sign or not," he said.
Trupia said that when he won in September, he was only three digits off from winning the Powerball, which at the time was $89 million.
He said that when the numbers first were announced, he first thought he had only three of the winning numbers.
"I started looking at my ticket and realized I had four of the winning numbers, not three," he said.
A group from Factory One Racing in Broken Arrow won $200,000 on July 27. Sharrie McDougal, owner of Factory One, said when her group won, they just used the quick pick, which is allowing the computer to generate the numbers.
"At the time, we had 10 people who took part in the winnings. Most work for me; we had a gentleman who paints for us, and two customers. We bought $200 worth of tickets," McDougal said.
Her group uses the same numbers for a month, then changes them. Each time, the group lets the computer choose, she said.
Carl Crenshaw II of Oologah won $10,000 on Aug. 28. He also uses the quick pick and plays twice a week.
Leland Fiedler of Vinita won $200,003 on Oct. 24, and actually ran out of gas while traveling to purchase his tickets.
"I used the quick pick, went to the Shop and Sack, and purchased $5 worth of tickets," he said. "My daughter and I had left town, and I got in my truck and ran out of gas. We stopped at Murphy's to buy gas and ended up buying a ticket where we also won $3 the same day.
"So, I ended up winning $200,003 the same day."
Fiedler said before Powerball came to Oklahoma, he would drive to Missouri to buy lottery tickets.
"When we first started, we had the kids pick the numbers. But if you're going to hit, you're going to hit," he said.