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. twistification

    Your tellin' me I GOT A CHANCE????

    March 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dan

    I wonder what the odds of finding 5 4-leaf clovers in the same day are??... because I did that last week. So, I'm taking my lucky streak to the lottery. Yes, the odds are stacked incredibly against me, but there's still a chance and it's no worse than the 25% of my salary the government takes from me everyday. So, I'll give it a shot.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. maidenshadows

    I have one thing to say: Go crawl back under the wet blanket you live under. Of course the odds are insane, but let people dream...You are a kill-joy whose parent never let you watch a late night movie or never let you believe in Santa Claus. The best part of life is the joy we can gain from our dreams. Are you happy you killed the magic now?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kristin

      I couldn't have said it better myself, thank you :)

      March 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    Wouldn't CNN s**t if one of us who read this article wins.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. aus

    I love the emotional and joyful moments till the Winning numbers are out.. I think the $1 is worth for that ride ....

    March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Den

    just a guess it'll be won buy one of those lottery pools where a group of co-workers go in together and bought hundreds of tix

    March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dennis

      Sure hope your right!! I 'm running one at my work!!

      March 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David

    I will win guarantee,

    March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. tom

    "So, you're saying there's a chance!" (Dumb & Dumber)

    March 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dennyboy

      "Like"

      March 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SmartPants

    I will win it. that "I" can be anyone right! why not me?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Argle Bargle

    So what? People are having a little fun, you old stick in the mud. Even a moment's fleeting hope is more than Congress has provided for America in the last 50 years, and they're spending money like there's no tomorrow.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Shawn

    So you're telling me there's a chance!!! :D

    March 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dennyboy

    Yup, probably won't win but if I don't buy a ticket I for sure won't win and somebody will win and it might as well be me!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Den

    is it possible due to the high demand that we'll have several ppl beat the jackpot odds tonite?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Steve

    Chance of getting the two minutes back it took to read this article; not possible. Chance of winning the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million. Looks like I have a better chance of winning Mega Millions.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Joe Blow

    I bet the winner has read this article.... now what are those odds?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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