March 30th, 2012

01:57 PM ET

*“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.

stevenif i win lottery ill buy myself mercenary army and exterminate every jew and their garbage jew ridden govt in washington dc

marki would totally punch that shark in the nose.... stupid shark

Carol:-)

Sunnywhat kind of nonsensical article is this..if everyone thought they wouldnt win, you wouldnt have had a job writing this article or piece of nonsense what i call. If everyone gave up dreaming or hoping, we wouldnt be looking at this jackpot...and at the end..there will be a winner would have bought a ticket just like millions of others. If that 1 person thought the same, we wont be having a winner...get it dude!! now go write something better

jujuThe odds of me getting laid and having multiple orgasms tonight: 1 in 1.

The odds of me winning the lottery jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

I think im gonna take my chances of getting laid tonight.

soulcatcherBet you it costs more than a dollar. That's one cheap wh0re.

Joe WoodPeople.....you cant win if you dont play! So take a chance and dream a little!

Sunnyexactly....what kind of nonsensical article is this..if everyone thought they wouldnt win, you wouldnt have had a job writing this article or piece of nonsense what i call. If everyone gave up dreaming or hoping, we wouldnt be looking at this jackpot...and at the end..there will be a winner would have bought a ticket just like millions of others. If that 1 person thought the same, we wont be having a winner...get it dude!! now go write something better

TJ SamPaul! If you bought:

one ticket, odds 1 in 176million, you got 1 chance

100 tickets, odds is 1 in 1.76million, you got 100 chances

1000 tickets, odds is 1 in 176,000, you got 1000 chances

10000 tickets, odds is 1 in 17,600, you got 10000 chances

100000 tickets, odds is in in 1760, you got 100000 chances

yes it only takes a ticket to win which is 1 in 176million, but one could slash the odds by buying more tickets. proven.

TomExactly. Did someone on here really say that if you buy 100 tickets, your odds are ONE in.....????? If you buy 100 tickets, your odds are 100 in....!!!! And consequently you multiply your odds each time, even though you are adding to the overall number

WMoonFoxIncorrect. The odds for each of those tickets would not change. Assuming you purchase different ticket numbers, your chance of winning would increase slightly, but it is not linear, nor is it in-line with the odds per ticket. For instance, your chance of rolling a six on a six-sided die is 1-in-6, but that does not guarantee that you will roll a six if you roll six times - your chance of rolling a six is always 1-in-6.

nunyabusinessactually its not proven...you can buy as many tickets as you like but your odds stay the same

RickI'm going to buy 10000 tickets right now.

BWho is going to spend $100k on tickets? Not to mention that's not real math.

AndaPandaIf you don't play you can't win. And who are you to say who will or will not win? Are you God or something? No, just a very sad person who wants to rain on everyones parade. Sometimes you just have to jump in and believe. I'm not saying go out and buy a bazillion tickets. Follow your heart but use your wise mind. I believe anything is possible! Probable...well I didn't buy my ticket for probables...I bought it for possible!!!

RichWW2I may not win the lottery...but SOMEONE will. Congrats to whoever that ends up being.

AceAgreed.

TomIf you literally have no money and can't justify spending a dollar on it, then don't. If you can and want to, then do. As the saying goes, "Someone has to win it"! As long as you're not playing for investment purposes but instead for a little bit of fun, what's the harm in that? Pointless article. Everyone knows the odds are against you. If the odds were in your favor, it wouldn't be called a lottery.

CullThePopulaceI'm going to save a large portion of the world, thus – I will win.

I know it.

I dreamed it.

I've planned for it.

It will happen, tonight.

And I'm feeling very positive and good about it right now, this Friday afternoon.

NoWAYThe odds that you will win is astronomical. While the odds of winning by not having a ticket are infinitely impossible. Infinitely impossible vs. astronomical. Think about it.

CarolThe odds of the entire country dreaming about winning the lottery and feeling hopeful at the same time?.....are excellent!

DrPhansterI took a group collection for tickets today at work. I discussed how it would work on the astronomically small chance we would win. I also discussed how we would be making a donation to local public schools regardless. You should be encouraging people to get out and buy those tickets, then pick up the phone and call your local public official and encourage them to overhaul the education system.

Damon"You're not going to win Mega Millions jackpot"

well that's good to know I guess ... State officials probably don't mind it going up to 2 billion, 50 billion, 20 trillion .. if no one is ever going to win ... this thing will get really high day after day, year after year.

"It’s not going to be you"

see how dumb the article is. some "you" is going to win, that's a given ... at some point maybe not today or next week but one of these days, however large the odds are ... 175,711,536 to 1 .... that the odds will go in favor of that 1 and whoever that "you" is is going to win.

"You're not going to win Mega Millions jackpot" means the odds are 0, which they obviously are not

JRThanks for reminding me to go buy a ticket.

Constant ReaderTickets are a buck apiece. So, if I spend 175 million dollars to buy 175 million different numbered tickets, I have a 100% chance of winning 540 million dollars. Sounds like pretty good odds to me. I'm going downstairs right now to my local convenience store....

MikeYou have 100% chance to win some money, but not the whole jackpot. It would be split between all winners, so if anyone else had the winning numbers (which I think at this point is guaranteed), you would lose money after taxes.

Jamal...that's IF you even had 175 million dollars to spend. Which you don't.

ImGoingToWinI was thinking this same thing, the only issue would be the logistics of actually buying every single number combination. Plus given the diminished value of the prize after taxes, you had better hope you dont have to split the jackpot with another winner!!!

soulcatcherObviously you didn't learn about possible lottery combinations vs expe3cted value. you got your expected value. But you still are missing some possible winning combinations

49^6 power=13,983,816 possible number combinations you need 13,983,816 tickets. Good luck buying that many..