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. Quick with a Quip

    4,8,15,16,23,42.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CNNuthin

    The odds are 175,711,536 to 1. Buy two tickets and your odds improve. Buy another and another. Those odds are starting to look better. Sure it is still in the millions. Sure you might double up numbers. You might not be the only winner. But luckily this is not like a vote. It is not One Person/One Ticket. I have never played before but I will still be picking up a handful of tickets on my way home tonight.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike k.

      Actually your odds don't improve at all with multiple ticket purchases; that strategy only works if there is a finite number of tickets being sold. Every ticket you buy actually decreases the odds of any one ticket winning, so it's a wash.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lloyd

    1 in 175 million huh .......... SO YOUR TELLING ME THERES A CHANCE!!!! YAA!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dude

    On the other hand, the job of lottery winner can never be outsourced to India . . .
    http://www.flatbrokeblog.blogspot.com

    March 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. smokaah

    I wouldnt hold my breathe but the bottom line is someone eventually wins. Why not me or you or any given person?

    March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • BC

      HOW DOES CNN OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER NO THAT I AM NOT GOING TO WIN? SOMEONE IS GOING TO WIN...RIGHT?????

      March 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Neversaydye

    "So your saying theres a chance"

    March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jiovanni

    Well at least there is one chance, if you don't play the chance is 0

    March 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Billy

    If you buy all 175 million options you are adding ~$ 80 million into the pot.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I won't tell you any different than I said two days ago..and thank you CNN for siding with me this time around.
    Anybody reading this post for the third consecutive day in a row, who has bought a MegaMillions ticket "will not" win the $600,000,000 jackpot.
    Your chances of turning in a claim into Allstate for "mayhem" are better than that. Bah! :o

    March 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ben

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Susan

    Killjoy...let us dream a little, it won't hurt anyone...

    March 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kevin

    yeah well I just went out and bought 175 Million Tickets wise guy

    March 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mij

    But, you have to be in it to win it.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tepeters

    Oh CNN stop being a buzz kill let people have fun with a fantasy. Besides it will make the prize bigger for the one who does win. But it is ok to admonish people not to spend a fortune buying tickets because of the odds. But a couple of dollars – hey knock yourself out

    March 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Leprakawn

    "You miss 100% of the shots you never take."
    -Wayne Gretzky

    March 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • becky, Las Vegas

      Like "Neo" I could be the one.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      "Sometimes the only winning move is not to play." – Joshua, super computer, War Games.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      AMEN !!

      March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
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