Lifestyle 13 August 2018
Everyone has dreamt of winning the lottery in their lives – and then daydreamed about how you would spend the large sum of money. For some of us, it would be buying your dream house, for others, quitting your 9 to 5 job and travelling around the globe – and then there are those that would find the money really handy when preparing their dream wedding or the perfect honeymoon. If you’d really try to test your luck, are there any tips that you could follow to increase your chances of winning the lottery or just winning in life?
Find the Right Game for You
The answer is somewhere in the middle: lotteries are games of chance, so the results are completely random. But all things considered, there are some tips that really work if you’d like to give it a go – and they are more geared towards practical aspects of playing the lottery. A crucial tip is to do some research beforehand and understand how each lottery game works, so that you can choose which one is more suited to you.
For example, some lotteries allow you to re-enter your ticket in second-chance games, which increases the odds of your tickets winning something in the end. Overall, players tend to go for national lotteries, like Powerball, that are more advertised and well-known – and also regularly provide huge jackpots. But this also means that the pool of people who purchase lottery tickets is wider.
Pick your Numbers Wisely
Instead, you could invest in a state lottery, which has a smaller entry pool and thus you have statistically more chances of winning – albeit a smaller amount of money. In that same vein, it is worth looking into scratch lotteries, where the odds of winning are higher even if the prizes are smaller. Another practical tip is to use numbers that are not so popular; numbers that are considered lucky by a lot of people, like 7 or 13, or numbers that come up often in drawings, like 32 or 23, tend to get chosen very often. This means that even if you win, you will split your earnings with a lot of other hopeful ticket holders out there. If you choose rare numbers instead, you may not exactly increase your odds of winning, but you increase the chances of holding on to a bigger chunk of the prize.
Consider Strategies and Extra Features
And then there is always the question of researching strategies for winning the lottery, like letting an online lottery site choose your lucky numbers for you – which means you can avoid everyone’s “lucky numbers” and go for rarer ones. There are also features that are unique to online sites, like the double jackpot, which doubles the maximum amount of your potential earnings, or the “hunt”, which automatically enrols you into a lottery until the jackpot is won. This means that you will keep “hunting” those big rollover jackpots, which translates into more money if you do win. Or you can activate combination bets, where you choose additional numbers and win if they come up in different variations.
There really is no right or wrong way to play the lottery, as ultimately it comes down to luck. But it sure helps if you keep some tips and tricks in mind in order to maximize your odds – or your winnings.
When their frustration with current fabric care options had fashionistas Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd worn out, the two entrepreneurs made it their mission to start a new niche and launch their very own at-home, eco-friendly laundry detergent line.
With a mission of turning an everyday domestic chore into a luxurious experience, these entrepreneurs not only conjured up an idea for an unconventional product line, but they successfully built their business while turning down the offer of every venture capitalist to knock on their door.
Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd co-founded The Laundress in 2004 after dealing with their own personal frustrations with limited clothing care options. Whiting, having worked at Ralph Lauren in design and Boyd having worked at Chanel in corporate sales, soon accumulated a stylish wardrobe of designer pieces as perks of their jobs in the fashion industry. However, the duo quickly realized that the maintenance required for upkeeping these items were far from adequate. Laundry products on the market at the time did not cater to delicate textures and fabrics such as tweed blazers, cable-knit cashmere and silk blouses. Taking their clothing to the dry cleaners also proved hopeless as their clothing would often come back with stains or even be ruined despite the overload of chemicals used to clean them. With nowhere left to turn, Whiting and Boyd were determined to create their own laundry solutions designed for specific fabrics.
Not only did the entrepreneurs develop the business expertise needed to finally begin their own company, but they also shared the same educational background that equipped them to pursue their unconventional business venture. Whiting and Boyd met in college as students at Cornell University majoring in Fiber Science, Textile, and Apparel Management and Design. The pair was introduced by a mutual friend and instantly knew they would become business partners. "It was inevitable that we were going to have a business together. We are both extremely entrepreneurial by nature, and it was one of the connections that we instantly shared" said Whiting. After focusing on pursuing their own individual careers for a while, Whiting and Boyd quickly discovered a void in the fabric care marketplace when their clients would continuously inquire about the upkeep of their designer pieces.
The entrepreneurial duo was committed to researching and developing their own eco-friendly laundry products and soon launched their own at-home solutions for specific fabrics like silk, wool and denim, which ultimately eliminated the need for dry cleaning for those particular items. Despite their products filling a necessary void in the market, it quickly became challenging for the founders to persuade people to shift their focus away from traditional laundry care options in order to try their products. However, Whiting and Boyd believed in their mission for the Laundress and bootstrapped from the very beginning, refusing all venture capital funding with the goal of growing organically. In order to be successful, they had to get creative in fundraising. "In the very early days, we funded business development by hosting a 'for profit' party at a New York City restaurant and inviting friends, family, co-workers, etc. to support our new venture. That was pre-Kickstarter and an inventive way to make everyone feel a big part of our decision to be entrepreneurs," said Whiting.
While turning down VC funding as new entrepreneurs seems unimaginable, it is as equally unfathomable to consider how these women gained national traction without social media, all the while hustling to fund their business. For Whiting and Boyd, who started their business before social media existed, it was imperative that they promote their brand by leveraging the resources they had available to them. The CEO's were one of the first to sell consumer goods, let alone detergent, online with the goal of reaching a national audience. Despite having limited retail distribution, they leveraged the power of their website and became featured in publications on both a national and international scale. "Before social media platforms existed, we nurtured our own Laundress community with engaging content on our website, step-by-step tutorials on our blog, and one-on-one communication through our Ask The Laundress email," Whiting explained. With technology evolving and the birth of social media platforms, the founders expanded the conversation about their products from website, blog and email to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As female entrepreneurs, Whiting and Boyd faced additional hardships as misconceptions about their mission ultimately proved to disappoint more than it encouraged them. As women selling luxury detergent, there existed a preconceived notion that funding would be more easily attainable based upon their gender.
"Everyone thought it was easy to access capital as female entrepreneurs, but it was actually very challenging. We had this unique and disruptive idea within a very traditional space and it was hard to get people on board at first. It's been a continuous journey to educate people in fabric care and home cleaning," said Boyd.
Reflecting on their journey as entrepreneurs, the founders express no regrets about refusing to accept venture capital throughout the process. "Over the years, we could never quantify the cost benefit of VC funding so we continued to grow organically and remain independent by funding ourselves with credit cards and loans," explained Boyd. While their decision proved fruitful, the duo expressed their consideration towards other entrepreneurs who may not be able to fully fund their business as they grow. Because funding is a situational experience, entrepreneurs must ultimately do what is best for their business as no one path is optimal for every entrepreneur or every business.
With an increasing amount of women entering entrepreneurship with their own unique set of products or services, the CEO's offer up one piece of advice on how female entrepreneurs can be successful in their endeavors.
Whiting: "Our advice to anyone looking to build their brands: Have a strong business plan and vision. If you are not disciplined to write a business plan first then you are not disciplined to start a business. Get your ideas down so you ask yourself the right questions; it helps you get organized and plan next steps."
Boyd: "Create quality products without sacrificing the ingredients—no cutting corners. What you create should be the most important piece. Stay passionate, and trust your instincts and follow your gut—something woman are awesome at!"