Win the $500M Powerball jackpot? It's not happening

Last March, when the people of America were drooling at the thought of winning a record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, we poured an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You weren't going to win.

And you didn't. Three winning tickets were sold, but you weren't involved. It was never going to happen. As we wrote then, you stood a better chance at hitting two consecutive holes in one on a par-3 golf hole than winning that jackpot.

Now, with a record $500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know -- someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won't be you.

The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we're sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

-- Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.

-- Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.

From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

-- An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.

-- A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million.

From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

-- Hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely: 1 in 6,267.

From the National Weather Service:

-- Being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach injury statistics:

-- Drowning and other beach-related fatalities: 1 in 2 million.

-- Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million.

What do you think about your chances of winning on Wednesday? Weigh in below, or on Twitter using #whataretheodds.


Comments

Related Stories

75-year-old NYC woman plays numbers in her fortune cookie, wins $2 million 75-year-old NYC woman plays numbers in her fortune cookie, wins $2 million

A 75-year-old New York woman found her fortune in a cookie.

$400M South Carolina lottery winner cashes in; wishes to remain anonymous $400M South Carolina lottery winner cashes in; wishes to remain anonymous

He stopped to get gas at the Murphy Express the day of the drawing last Wednesday and his wife told him to buy some hot dog buns.

Powerball: No big jackpot winner in Saturday draw Powerball: No big jackpot winner in Saturday draw

Lottery officials have announced on the Powerball website that no ticket has matched all Saturday's numbers drawn for that game's giant jackpot, which now swells to an estimated $400 million or a $223.6 million cash-option value.

Ohio Lottery says $1 million Powerball prize unclaimed Ohio Lottery says $1 million Powerball prize unclaimed

Lottery officials say the owner of a million-dollar Powerball ticket sold in western Ohio is running out of time to claim the prize.

16 people share winning Powerball ticket 16 people share winning Powerball ticket

Two New Jersey officials say 16 workers from a county garage in Toms River have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot.

Powerball winner: Minnesota dad claims third of $448M jackpot Powerball winner: Minnesota dad claims third of $448M jackpot

A Minnesota man claimed his third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot on Thursday, wasting no time before revealing his good fortune to the world and saying he had "been waiting for this day my entire life."

$425 million Powerball lottery jackpot: Stores with rich history seen as lucky $425 million Powerball lottery jackpot: Stores with rich history seen as lucky

With Wednesday's Powerball jackpot at an estimated $425 million, people pour into stores with past winners looking for lightning to strike twice.

Florida Powerball winner Gloria Mackenzie: Woman’s kind gesture costs her $590 million Florida Powerball winner Gloria Mackenzie: Woman’s kind gesture costs her $590 million

When Gloria Mackenzie stepped in front of her in the Publix line on May 18, Mindy Crandell was busy tending to one of her two daughters.

$590 million Powerball jackpot claimed in Florida $590 million Powerball jackpot claimed in Florida

An 84-year-old Florida woman who bought her Powerball ticket after another customer let her get ahead in line came forward Wednesday to claim the $590 million jackpot, becoming the largest sole lottery winner in U.S. history.

Powerball winning ticket: Small Florida city anxious to learn jackpot winner Powerball winning ticket: Small Florida city anxious to learn jackpot winner

It could be an anxious wait of up to two months for people in a small Florida city to find out who won the highest Powerball jackpot in history: an estimated $590.5 million.