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. Phillip

    Geez, remind me not to invite you to any parties Debbie Downer. Let people have a little fun and dream. If they want to spend more than a couple of bucks on a ticket, then that is between them and the medication they are obviously not taking appropriately.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Justsayin'

    Somebody has to win. Just live your life like you always have and if you are the lucky one ... hey good for you!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aud

      I agree! Half the fun is allowing yourself to day dream. The odds are faaaaaaaaar off, but if you buy a ticket, you're in the game.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    Yes, the odds are impossible and yes someone will win, but if you don't have a ticket it won't be you!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rjjdog

      AMEN!

      March 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • IAgree

      Thinking of buying 175.7 million tickets :)

      March 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jaguiar45

    They say face it you won't win but it's guaranteed that someone will win eventually. Maybe when it hit's a billion someone will win.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • be quiet

      no, somebody will hit it tonight. way too many tickets have been sold for somebody not to win.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. I am Han Solo!

    So I wonder what the odds are of an amateur female golfer in Hawaii hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes before she goes into sudden labor, then hitting a deer while driving to the hospital to give birth to her conjoined twins, stepping out of the car only to get stung by a bee, which causes her to panic and run off into the water only to get hit by lighting, attacked by a shark and then drown from anaphylactic shock? Hey... it could happen.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      That was slightly demotivating.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • tony from wi

      hahaha

      March 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • FH

      And her relatives find out she won the lottery.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aud

      Stranger things have happened... ;-)

      March 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Santana

    What are the chances if I buy 100 tickets lol

    March 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HR

    Shut up and take my money!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hojojoe

    I know my chances are nill, but that's not the point. Things are pretty awful out there right now, and if spending a $1 gives me even 5 minutes of day dreaming as opposed to thinking about reality, then I'm in for a buck. $1, or spending the day thinking about gas prices, homelessness, the jobless, bank fraud, genocide, nuclear Iran, pandemics and Jersey Shore. Yea, a buck is worth it.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      This is really what people are missing. My sentiments exactly.

      March 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Someone stole $200 from me last week.

      March 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. disagreement

    Just being part of the hype is worth the $10 I spent

    March 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redskins Aren't Sharpest Tools In the Shed

      ....you mean the $120 spent, right?

      March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SeaTurt1e

    Yeah, but the odds of me winning if I don't buy any tickets are even worse than 1 in 175.7 million!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. michelle

    Yes, the odds are high; however someone will win and if I don't play, it won't be me. Think more positive, this article sucks.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThisArticleSucks

      This article absolutely sucks and is actually incorrect – what if someone reading this article actually does win?!? The moron who wrote this article will not win if they don't buy a ticket. The moron who wrote this article thinks they are much smarter than everyone else.

      March 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lean6

    Didn't they just run an article about some meth-head CNN employee that won the lottery twice?

    March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. VC

    This is why I like CNN more than FNC. CNN always has a sense of humor. Head over to FNC and you'll just get agonistic articles!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Julie

    So you're saying there is a chance...

    March 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Redskins Aren't Sharpest Tools In the Shed

    Excellent sense of humor, CNN. Keep up the good work!

    March 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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