March 30th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

You're not going to win Mega Millions jackpot

“Never tell me the odds.”
Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back"

Look. We know that you're aware the odds of winning Friday night’s record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, or any Mega Millions jackpot, are astronomical.

We also know that for the people who win it, the odds matter not one bit. Someone is going to win at least a share of the prize if not Friday, then in some subsequent drawing. But since we’re covering the historic jackpot and showing people in long lines giddily talking about how many cars or yachts or Dippin' Dots they’d buy if they win, we feel compelled to remind you:

It’s not going to be you.

The odds of a ticket winning a Mega Millions jackpot is 175,711,536 to 1. As Han Solo’s talkative robotic friend would tell you, you have a much, much better chance (1 in 3,720!) of navigating an asteroid field successfully. We didn’t exactly vet that, but you know you’d smash your ship into the rocks. And who are we to question protocol droids fluent in more than 6 million forms of communication?

To hammer home the point, here are a few other unlikely scenarios that, we’re sorry to say, are far more likely than you taking home a jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

Chances of dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

Chance you will be die from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Chance of having conjoined twins: 1 in 200,000. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

The chance of an amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole is about 1 in 12,500. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

The chance of a golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

 The chance of hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely, is 1 in 6,267. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the National Weather Service:

The chance of being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach injury statistics in 2000:

Chance of drowning and other beach-related fatalites: 1 in 2 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

Chance of being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

What are the odds you will win? Weigh in below, or on Twitter using #whataretheodds.

soundoff (1,701 Responses)
  1. abqTim

    – Chance of being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

    Sheeesh! And I live in the deserts of New Mexico!!!! So my odds my be even lower

    March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JJ

    One thing is for sure: if you don't play, you definitely won't win

    March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Did you know....
    Some of the earliest recordings of a lotterys existence date back to the Chinese Han Dynasty 205 B.C.?
    ref:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lottery#Early_history

    March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Billford

    Yes, but if you buy 100 tickets, you are more likely to win than get attacked by a shark.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NeshanicMan

    Chance that the person that holds a winning ticket is reading this article ? 1 in 50 ? Chance that the same person wins the jackpot ? 1 in 1. Somebody is going to win, why not me ?

    March 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • John N. Seattle, WA

      Why not you? Because, sir, I have the winning ticket! :P

      March 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JUST SAY'N

    CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY, SO WHAT IS THE POINT WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE HERE???

    March 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Duh

    wish I wouldnt have read this, now I have no chance. Oh wait, odds are even for everyone. Stupid article, this writer should go back to blogging.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rick

    One absolute truth: If you do not play, I guarantee that you will not win.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah, that's what I thought. It's like the reporter is telling everyone the last golden ticket was found and everyone can stop playing now.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ouch

    Who brought the Debbie Downer? I wonder if she crushes her loved ones hope like this...wow, that was seriously annoying! I guess every party, even the really boring ones, DO have a pooper.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adam

    I don't care what anybody says.. this article is hilarious!

    March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jane Simith

    Dang CNN. Why do you have to be so darn negative? Maybe one of the readers will win!

    March 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    One thing for sure: If you do play, your chances of losing are 99.999999% sure.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MeinNJ

    If I recall, Han Solo DID navigate that asteroid field successfully....

    March 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Annah

    say those odds to my uncle. He won the lottery 10 years ago

    And pumping out mathematical formulas to say you wont win but then giving a number of 175 million to one implies you to still have a chance of winning still violates your logic that you will not win.

    Write a better article

    March 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ljwitch

    I swear, if I win that jackpot, the first thing I'm going to do is raise my middle finger to CNN New Blog. In fact, I took a screen shot of this and will print it out just to hold it up and snub my nose at the mean spirited idiots running this blog.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Let's drink tonight like we won the Mega Millions and then drink even more when we don't win!

      March 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
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