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. The true winner

    I just purchased the winning ticket. You all might as well give up thinking you will win the full prize.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jeremy

    This is the most retarded story ever. Someone is going to win the prize eventually, and everyone who plays has a fair shot at it. But hey CNN, I will tell you who is definitely NOT going to win: the people who don't buy a ticket and participate in the game.

    "you will miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

    March 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. pdxlight

    Did it seriously take 4 people to put that idiotic article together? I feel compelled to remind the authors that, should you be in the running for a promotion, it won't be you.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bryan Kellogg

    Thank you, Captain Buzzkill

    March 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. merchantsdowneast

    My son landed a job was offered a job last Sunday, for millions. Here he is, a college grad and, had been working at an auto body shop for $200 a week. Not only did his dream of being a ships captain become reality. He was offered shares in a major corporation.
    So I say to CNN...don't say to anyone that a dream can not come true...it can. There is always hope and as long as you keep playing the lottery at some point you will eventually gain something. It may not be the Mega millions but it will be something. Every week in every State someone wins something. Whether it is one million or ten million.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. shelly

    There is no guarantee that ANYONE will hit a deer in Hawaii, or be hit by lightning. But guaranteed, someone WILL win MegaMillions, possibly two or three people will win, maybe this week, maybe next. Any single ticket has as likely a chance as any other to win. So it's worth a dollar or five, just to have a shot at it. Yes I know I won't win. But I could win. That's good enough.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim D.

      Where is the like button???
      You hit the nail right on the head with your post...;0)

      March 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nick

    After I win..................I will buy CNN and FIRE YOU!!

    March 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • PM

      Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice

      March 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    Seriously, why is this even on here let alone at the top of the main page? This isn't news, this is some over opinionated person's rant. Let people have their hope. P.S. I pray to God the person that wins reads this article and then shoves it in your face.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. GCN

    Are you all (authors) related to Chris Chase? Because you all need to be fired.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. lazurite

    What a negative headline. How about a bit of optimism, CNN?

    March 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugh Jass

      Here's some optimism for you: I'm absolutely certain you don't have a rat's chance in he** of winning the lottery.

      MORE GOOD NEWS: You have a better chance at winning the lottery than Sarah Palin's chances of getting a clue.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JJ

    Debbie Downer man!!!

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

    Wow CNN, way to be a bummer. Also, we ALL know, at least 99 percent of us that are sane, know the odds are not on our side, but what does it hurt playing a buck or two? Jeez it's the fun of it. I only play when it gets big. I was just at a store where some people were laughing at us being "giddy" in line, but that's the fun of it. The hope! Lighten up CNN!

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

    Just like Tom Tucker on Family Guy preaching that the last Golden Ticket was found. Not because it was, but to give him better odds at finding it himself if his viewers stopped looking. So yeah, tell the masses that they're not going to win and stop buying tickets. Meanwhile, CNN buys a butt-load of tickets in hopes of winning it themselves. LOL

    March 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Barry

    A line of 175 million 3 X 5 business cards laid down end to end would extend almost 14,000 miles. The odds of winning would be the same as selecting the one correct card in the 14,000 mile line of cards. 14,000 miles is over halfway around the earth at the equator.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. jj

    "Face it: You won't win lottery..."
    This, from the same people who have been hyping it all week long.
    What a bunch of hypocrites!

    March 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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