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. Tsukasa

    It would be so funny if someone who read this article won. Then they could say hey it was me. Everybody knows the odds are astronomical and that if youre going to buy lottery tickets you might as well set a pile of money on fire. But who are these people to say you cant have a dream for a dollar. I would like to mention that most people who buy lottery tickets are in trouble financially and I dont see that the persons of CNN are looking malnourished or poorly clothed. Have a great day Dream-Killers.

    March 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ClevelandGAL

    Why kill our hope? We all know it's impossible but let us dream of the what if's!!!! CNN always has to rain on the parade...

    March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • BK

      Yes why kill the hope of people who are being blatantly fleeced out of their hard earned money so some random person that probably doesn't deserve it can get rich.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DumbNigs

    Only poor stupid blacks play this jiggaboo crap

    March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cris

    odds that i sit here and read through allllll the hilarious comments....1 in 1........cuz have been lmao for the last 15 minutes......

    March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. stipman

    50 50 chance. Either I win or I dont

    March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John-117

      stipman, I don't think you understand probability very well. Your statement is SO incorrect, lol.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      LOL, you wish it was a 50-50 chance. right guy

      March 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gaeboi

    If you don't play you have no chance and 1:175 million is better than 0:175, so what is this idiot stating? Even if no one bought a ticket except this guy then he probably wouldn't win then either. We got it! It's a game of chance! We know! Yet, someONE will eventually win the jackpot! It's like this pessimist just cursed anyone's wishes to win. Let people dream and maybe ONE or TWO of those dreamers' dream will come true. HOW DARE YOU!!!?

    March 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Simmer down, now.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John-117

    Isn't the fact that I am here on planet earth lower odds than winning the lotto? Who says I can't be lucky again?

    March 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. xmgmx

    Cris, I agree. Some of these are good. I like the wedding dress/Tebow one :)

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. angman

    Math Teacher your missing a couple of 0's.....hope you don't really teach math....

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Den

    can you imagine how giant it would become if no body hits the jackpot tonite? A billion maybe?

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SeveRheaD

    world population, 6,840,507,003.
    30% of the world has internet access, or, 2,052,152,101.
    Odds of a person to read this article (approx 30% of population with internet access) or 615,645,630 in 2,052,152,101.
    Odds that a person who read this article plays the mega millions (75% of the people who read this article) or 461,734,222 in 615,645,630
    Odds that a person who read this article AND played the mega millions wins (assume 99.745% of people have unique picks), 460,556,800 in 175.7 million
    Odds that CNN lies by stating "You (the reader) will not win the MEGA Millions Jackpot" is 2.63 in 1, or 263%
    Numbers don't lie...CNN is lying to you

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Carrier

      You should only county people who live in states that do the lottery that have internet access. Somebody in Ireland can't win the lotto.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Melanie

    Why do you want to take away my hope and dreams?

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stacy

    Stop harshing my mellow.

    March 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Todd

    Here in Illinois, the Lotto used to play commercials, "someone's gotta Lotta, may as well be you!".

    March 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. liz

    Sure, I won't win the lottery but are the odds any worse that that of my boss giving me a decent raise?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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