“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.
I love it when someone -especially the "news" compares the odds of something totally unrelatable like the chances of being attacked by a shark. Well, if you put the same amount of people in the ocean that will buy tickets....watch the odds of being attacked by a shark drop. If you put as many amateur golfers on a 3-par hole as there are ticket buyers for the mega lottery....again watch the odds drop. if you have as many people being struck by lightning as those who buy tickets....again the odds drop --you get my point.
I have a better chance of winning the mega millions than reading your next article.
Actually the odds stay the same. The frequency of the event will increase.
Lighten up...it was funny.
Thanks for being another sucker to buy lottery tickets and lowering my taxes. The odds for the lottery are irrefutable (accurate). The odds for being bit by a shark is based on the past, and doesn't matter anyhow – it does not affect the odds of the lottery. Funny the silly mental games people play to justify giving in to their emotions – that's what smart/wealthy people prey on...a fool and his money are soon departed. Instead of spending $20 * 52 = $100 per year on lottery tickets, buy any random stock. Dell went up 1000 times in the 90's, so you'd have $1 million form your $1k investment. Dell was a known company in the very early 90's, so it's not a stretch to say you could have bought shares of Dell in 1990. Look at Apple – it's skyrocketed.
Your logic is wrong. The odds do not change for YOU in any of those scenarios. It doesn't matter how many people golf, what matters are the odds of you individually making a hole-in-one.
Fred- you seem not to understand probability theory. The odds are the same for each individual in every case you mentioned. The number participating is completely irrelevant.
Chances of me winning if I don't purchase a ticket: $0
Chances of me winning if I do purchase a ticket: >$0
Cost of a venti dark roast as Starbucks $2.51
Cost of me buying a ticket: $1
I took the chance on burning my tongue and turning in my resignation today - I'd do it again too.
Chances aren't presented in dollars, idiot. They are presented as a %.
Logically Optimistic said:
"Chances of me winning if I don't purchase a ticket: $0
Chances of me winning if I do purchase a ticket: >$0"
There's a $50 chance that you don't know that probability is displayed in percentages instead of dollars.
The chance of CNN proof reading their "journalistic articles"? Zero
NEVER tell me the odds!
What a Debbie Downer...you really wrote a depressing article because people are giddy and excited about a dream... that is POSSIBLE. Someone has to win, that is the bottom line. It's comepletely harmless for the majority of people. STFU!
Eye vill vin ze muny. Und ven eye dew, eye vill cho yew awl vhat eet cud dew 2 yew.
The odds of any of these things happening to me TODAY are worse than me winning the lottery TODAY. You are using odds that span over a person's entire lifetime. Most of these are impossible to happen to me today.
Get real, you have basically ZERO chance of winning. How anyone you know won? Of course not. I know 1000's of people, yet none of them have won. I have a coworker who has been hit multiple times by lightning though!
Who cares!? Chances are if you dont play you will not win! Obviously its going to be someone and that someone may be ME!!!!!!
This is pretty stupid article, especially, the odds are Someone who bought the ticket, whether today or even if the jackpot keeps growing, will win eventually. So using a byline "You're not going to win" is false because Someone has to. So what's the writer's retort to the person who actually wins, "oh wait, you didn't win" Retarded.
The best way to view this is to buy a ticket for the fun of it, realizing you most certainly won't win. But, at least you have a better chance than everyone who doesn't buy one! And if by some miraculous stroke of a wand you win, THEN plan all the things you will do with it. I think some people plan so hard and hope so much, that not winning becomes a deep disappointment. Treat it as a lark.
When the winning ticket come out... and it will be mine... but for arguments sake, let's say it's not... my chances of having won, are the exact same as the person who did... for a couple bucks, it's worth the risk
Only worth it if it entertains you (and you can TRULy (ie you don't get food stamps; not behing on your bills, your house is not falling apart; etc) afford it). Obviously (i hope it's obvious to all of you) the lottery cannot and does not lose money. It pays out less than it takes in, so it is not mathmatically or financially "worth it".
I say let peole dream. I spent 10.00. Has been a fun week hearing all my staff talking about how they would share the money with everyone.
Chance that this article is a stupid waste of online space? 1 chance in 1.
They left out their assumption that you will only play the Mega Millions lottery once in your lifetime and it will only for 1 ticket.
Odds of me buying more than one ticket and slightly increasing my odds 1:1
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