Friday, March 30, 2012

Mega-Million Jackpot: The Odds Compared to Other Events

The Mega-Millions lottery jackpot is now very close to the highest lottery jackpot in history. So many stories of people snatching up lotto tickets praying that their ticket answers their financial prayers along with their kids, grandkids and future generations of grandkids....assuming they don't blow their ca$h like the lotto winner from West Virginia in 2002.  He blew $100+ million in a little under 4 years!  How does that happen?

Not to burst anyone's bubble but for lotto winners who win more than $150,000 are twice as likely to go bankrupt in under 5 years than the general population!

...I'd still take my chances.

Anyway, the numbers are staggering. The odds of getting all of the numbers correct on your ticket are...wait for it...

176,000,000 to 1

So, hypothetically, at $1 a ticket, if you spent $176,000,000 in tickets, does this guarantee that you would win the jackpot?  Absolutely not!  Remember that the odds are statistical not actual.  Who is to say that the same two winning tickets with the same numbers haven't been printed?  

How about the odds of some other events:

odds of dying in a fire:  1,116 to 1
odds of fatally slipping in the bath or shower:  2,232 to 1
odds of dying in an airline accident:  20,000 to 1
odds of dying from a lightning strike:   84,000 to 1
odds of dealing a ROYAL FLUSH:   649,350 to 1
odds of being injured by hail:   5,114,000 to 1
odds of being killed by hail in a years time:  734,400,000 to 1