Powerball jackpot hype is reaching fever pitch again. With the Powerball jackpot for Saturday's night's drawing reaching $278 million, players are rushing to lottery stores to purchase the lucky ticket. That's certainly a large sum of money to make the winner(s) rich.

Still, purchasing the winning ticket is a long shot. The odds are extremely low, and they stay the same as the jackpot keeps on climbing.

"Lottery is a pure game of chance, so there is nothing you can do to improve your chances of winning from any given bet," says Jan Kovac, a co-founder of Casino Guru. "For example, the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338, and it will stay the same regardless of the numbers you choose or any other factors."

While there's nothing to do to change the chances of winning in a given bet, there are a few things you can do to play the lottery game smartly: raise the chances to win without going broke in the process.

One of them is to purchase several tickets, but that will cost you more money and perhaps, turn you into a gambler. "It is important to stick to your budget, only gamble with what you can afford to lose, and be aware of the principles of responsible gambling," says Kovac.

Another way is to join a pool. That will increase your chances of winning the game, but it will cut the size of the reward, as the jackpot must be divided up by pool participants.

Nonetheless, a small piece of a large pie is worth the effort. For example, this week, 55 women from Perth, Australia, won the $80 million Powerball jackpot. Likewise, in 2011, a group of Costco employees in Long Island, New York, shared a $200 million Powerball jackpot.

A jackpot sign is shown. (Photo: Reuters)

A third way to improve your chances is to select a different lottery. "The higher the prize, the less likely you are to win it," says Kovac. "So, if you choose a lottery with a lower jackpot, you will generally be more likely to win it."

Simply put, don't be greedy. A smaller pie on the table is better than a big pie in the sky.

Meanwhile, Kovac recommends lotteries that have progressive jackpots. "These increase in size over time until they are won, so it is better for players from the mathematical perspective to bet when the jackpot is high," he says. "It does not increase the chance to win, but it does increase the size of the potential winnings, so the expected statistical value for players is higher."

Still, it would help if you didn't lose focus on the brutal reality: the odds of winning lottery jackpots by pursuing any one of these strategies may improve, but they remain shallow.

Then there are federal and state taxes that will considerably reduce the winnings, especially if you choose the cash option.

That's why you should be conservative with your eagerness to pursue any of these strategies.

Meanwhile, behavioral economists have an essential tip for lottery winners: don't treat a lottery winning differently from how you treat the money you have earned from hard work -- because you assume the risk of losing part or all of it.