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. Steve M

    What a buzzkill article.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. invictaman1

    1 in 175 million, so your saying there's a chance..........Lloyd Christmas

    March 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Longshot

    Chances of you hitting the mega if you don't play...zero, so the odds are in your favor if you do play:) Someone has to win..eventually. But the higher the jackpot, the more chances there will be multiple winners who will most likely end up with the same amount as if they had played the game when the jackpot was much lower. .

    March 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. jjpulido78

    EP – that was beautiful!!! Best of luck to you and everyone else, including the negative nellys!

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

    In approximatley 44 minutes CNN will have worldwide coverage of the winner(s), and SHOVE THEM CLEAR UP IN OUR NON PLAYING AND LOSING FACES.
    TIK TOK TIK TOK ;)

    March 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. retphxfire

    No one will read this, but its a homage to my dad. He didn't want US to waste too much on lotteries. He bought lottery tickets every week, actually he bought them in 'bulk', 20 weeks at a time. He did this for years. I think his secret wish was to win some money for his family...after he was gone. Well, dad recently passed away and in some way I felt I had to play HIS numbers for this game. Win or lose, I feel that dad is smiling next to mom, thinking 'you can't win if you don't play'.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian B

      That's a very heartfelt comment. That's very rare on these message boards. Your dad sounded like a great guy; good luck to you.

      March 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ManWithThe1000tonBRAIN

    Just enjoying my last 40 minutes in the middle class. I promise not to forget all the little people out there.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. CP

    I don't care! I'm playing and dreaming anyway!!!

    March 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I had fun losing lotterey and saving my money tonight. I think of all the great plans I have for it, rather than giving it to some fool. I work too hard for my money. ;)

    March 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Longshot

    I really thought hard about it, whoever wins will be bombarded by non profits, charities, probably the President, all looking for hand outs, old friends come out of the woodwork, angry co workers that now hate you out of jealousy, family members, ex wives or husbands demanding a share, media attention,, attracting thieves to your home, security issues,life as you know it will change, yet you'de never care about rising gas prices, making that phone bill, paying back that student loan or second mortgage, everything comes with a cost..

    March 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Doc Shep

    Chance of winning and never needing mastercard again... PRICELESS!

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

    We already know what tonights jackpot is. It would be interesting to know what MegaMillions has "raked in" on ticket sales since the last winner...
    We should start our very own CNN bloggo lotto. Hehe. :)

    March 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. marcellus

    Chance of hitting by playing 1:175,000,000 . or .000000005%
    Chance of hitting by not playing: 0.0%
    Your money to a potential good cause (schools, roads, etc): 50%

    OK, I'm in.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mike

    Wouldn't it be great if there were 175.7 million winners

    March 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. iham

    When it gets over 300million buy ONE ticket Don't win it will have cost you $1 No big deal for even many of the poorest. Win and well......

    March 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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