Gladys Liller, a Baltimore cashier, says she's used her dreams to win hundreds of dollars from Maryland's "Numbers Game."
As soon as she awakens from a productive slumber, she turns to her "Harlem Pete" dream book for the three-digit number matching the subject of her dreams.
There are as many methods for betting on the daily lottery as there are combinations of winning digits.
Policemen play their badges, housewives bet their telephone exchanges and businessmen take a chance on their license plate numbers.
May Heart, a federal government clerk who lives in Washington, said she won $790 by playing a numeral that appeared in her dreams.
Evelyn Hoskey, a Baltimore nurse, said she rearranges numbers that have won in the past and bets a variation of them.
Regular numbers bettors cite a long list of reasons for playing the game, although the common denominator seems to be a will to win.
"I'm trying to get a lucky break," said a middle-aged laborer from Washington who cashed in a $500 winning ticket at a Silver Spring lottery outlet this week. "I can't make it working, so I just bet $5 a day."
John Stephens, a 68-year-old retiree from Washington, said he travels to Mount Rainier each day to play the daily game simply because "I don't have anything else to do. This gives you something to look forward to."
Weldon Sollers, a Washington police officer, said he places bets during off hours in the hope of winning enough "to pay my way out of a financial bind."
For Fred G. Samford, a retired barber from Washington, the "Numbers Game" offers a safer way to gamble than the illicit game, free from the threat of police raids and bookies who refuse to pay winnings.