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. Meesy14

    "– 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."

    Chances CNN will publish an article with a noticeable typo: Very likely

    March 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Micrathene

    Pffft, I know I'm not likely to even get the megaball and have the ticket pay for itself – but I'll still throw in a dollar or two and call it "paying my daydreaming tax."

    March 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ramicio

    This article is retarded. Obviously someone is going to win.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nephthys

    Of course I know my chances are infinitesimal. But it's fun to play a couple numbers & like my Daddy used to say, SOMEbody wins!

    March 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jrvinnh

    Lotteries are a way to take money away from people who don't understand math.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • amicitia dei

      sure ... but i know what a zero you are.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • dpcfoh

      But, if you do win, at least you won't have to balance your checkbook anymore...

      March 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GOVT

    Take millions of dollars from 1 person you will be caught, the trick is to take 1 dollar from millions of people. Genius.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jdr24

      I heard once of someone who sent a spam email out to millions of people asking for something like 5 cents and they ended up getting $3 million total. Don't know how much truth there was to that story.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      Dude, at least one person will beat the odds. Why is that so hard for people to understand and accept? It's not going to be you. Get over it.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Chances of Chuck Norris getting beaten in a fight: 1 in 7 billion. Chances of you winning the mega millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million

    March 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shane

      Chuck Norris is a Republican idiot. And he's too old to kick anyone's @ss.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      The odds of Chuck Norris beating the odds of winning the lottery: 1:1

      March 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. G

    So what idiot wrote this article? Sign your article if you have the balls, but I guess not. Whoever wrote this brings no value to CNN and should be relegated to cleaning the bathrooms at CNN, that way this person is productive in some manner. Thanks for the positive outlook...

    Next story...."Don't ever leave your house, because you could die at any moment!"

    March 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • A

      Lol just relax. IT's not that serious, nor are your chances of winning.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lean6

    The jackazz that wrote this article must be living a miserable life if this is what gets him off. I truly hope the winner is his worst enemy...wife's lover or something.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Bob

    Somebody with millions in their pocket already is going to win the money..remember...money finds money

    March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. d-rew

    clearly SOMEONE has to win so this article can be disproven easily by that person, great journalism cnn

    March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bob

    this was an oddly pessimistic news story.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. bxgrrl

    I won ($80) playing Lotto. I had to spend $100 on tickets though.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jason

    175 million is not really an astronomical number. That's less than the number of US citizens.

    March 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Blahman

    Never tell me the odds!

    March 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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