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. nyc456

    Articles like this are just plain stupid....it must be a slow news week. Obviously not everyone will win but somebody will. So I don't get the negative "face it: you won't win" nonsense. You won't win for sure if you don't play. All these negative people need to keep their useless thoughts to themselves.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Vivi

    What else are you going to buy with a dollar - a bag of skittles? The odds are that'll get you killed.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Its not about winning the jackpot, its about buying a daydream. How dare you try to crush our day dream and escape from reality of winning this ungodly sum of money. The people of the United States have spoken, and we have chosen FANTASY! Now, if you want to increase flow of traffic to this website and as such, ad revenue, change this article to "Analysts confirm: You have a good chance of winning the lottery tonight" We Americans have no time to face reality, after all this is the stuff the American dream was made on.... or... so...

    March 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tisha

      Everyone should be able to have a dream. Most people dream about all of the things that they can do for the people they love I know I do. So when I do win the Mega Millions I will post a message about all of the lives I have changed, and how many dreams I made come true. You can't take it with you but you can make one hell of a diffrence in so many lives.

      March 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. viper1j

    Do you see us p!ssing on your parade?

    March 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Idont

    I won't win! I don't buy! We don't have it in our state...

    March 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    It's usually greed and huge wagers that wins these jackpots when they get this high.
    What you rarely see is hard working poor people win. Their purpose in lottery life is to lose and drive the jackpot high. People like me, so I don't play any more.
    By tomorrow morning all your hype will fall to the wayside when you see something like 6 winners from California. Then you'll never hear nothing newswise ever come from that area again.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. whitetrash

    How immature from u . We are going to win stop ur jealously .

    March 30, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    1 and 3 million people get struck by lightning?? That's crazy

    March 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim_34

    Think of buying a lottery ticket as a donation to charity with a possibility of hitting a huge jackpot.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    So a dollar is a dollar in my mind. I'd rather save that dollar to help out my kids when they get financialy strapped.
    Don't misread me...go play and have your fun..hope you even win.
    But don't come lookin for me cause you think I gave you bad advice.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Natalie Hanson

    Hey CNN, why don't you go tell all the children of the world about how Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy aren't real! You guys are a bunch of Debbie downers. I bet you're awesome to be around at parties. Oh, and BTW if I do win, I am so rubbing it in your faces! : P

    March 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ryan Wenzel

    I only want to win so I can annoy everyone by being 18 and having several hundred million dollars that I didn't earn.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    wait, is it opposite day? lol

    March 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lil

    SOMEBODY has to win. It might as well be me.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Keith

    This is awkward – Dip N Dots no longer exist...

    March 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
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