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. jazzman

    "– Chance of having conjoined twins: 1 in 200,000. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million."

    For people who are not going to have any more children, the chance they will win Mega Millions jackpot is much BIGGER.

    The comparisons you put out there are flawed.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. GBG

    Of course for the top 5 to 10 CEOs this is just a few years pay.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. gxm17

    I wonder what the odds are of ever being born? I'd guess they're astronomical too. The way I see it, we're all lottery winners already.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    @Sherry Durk
    Or in the words of another singer after tonights game. "Another-one-gone.. Another-one-gone..Anorher-one-bites-the-dust..hey!" :)

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sanjosemike

    I generally hate lotteries, which I regard as a tax on the poor. However, it is entirely a voluntary tax. You don't have to buy the tickets. That said, the odds of a PARTIAL win are better than the entire pot. But it makes no sense to purchase more than say one or two tickets. That does people no particular harm. Buying more will NOT improve your odds for either a partial or total win.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. michaelfury

    And what are the odds of this?

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/pulverized-to-near-power/

    March 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. David

    You're not just buying a chance to win millions of dollars, you're buying that entertainment value. There's value in the hope and excitement. Plus the proceeds go to various programs across the different states. At the end of the day, it's for a good cause. People need with the hate.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. gwhunt01

    Chance you will submit an article to CNN without proofreading – 100%. Congratulations!!!

    "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."

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AmericanPeasant

    I love the quotes and odds given in this article. A really fun article and well written too. I am going to buy one ticket because even if I losei ts just nice to get in on the hype and also that money will help pay some taxes to the Nation.

    Since we're throwing out quotes, I really can't resist.

    "The odds might be a million to one, but there is always that One" -Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun)

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Vek

    I will win. I know because I'm a Jedi.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cm

      Well I am a goddess therefore I outrank you. I is winner!

      March 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. eric

    I hate to tell you this guys, but I won. I won this drawing tonight, then I invented time travel and came back in time to gloat to you all.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Peikovianyi

    Nice conclusion to the fluff piece CNN has been running all week, encouraging people to buy lottery tickets.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. krozar

    I know I'll win. I just returned back from the future in a time machine I built using the funds that I am about to win. I have to win or otherwise I violate the grandfather paradox and you will all die.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tom

    I remember hearing a stat a few years ago that if you drive three miles to get your ticket, you're something like 17 times more likely to die in a car accident on the way there.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jason

    Dumb n dumber: "So you're telling me there's a chance....YESSSSS!"

    March 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe T.

      Think of all the big gulps you could buy with those winnings!

      March 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.