Updated January 13th at 10:00 am.
The winner of this Wednesday's Powerball drawing is poised to collect a staggering $1.5 billion (before taxes). But with the discouraging odds of 1 in 292.2 million, it's extremely unlikely that you'll find yourself with the winning ticket. In fact, you're more likely to die from a vending-machine-related accident than to draw the lucky number. (The odds of dying from a vending-machine-related accident are 1 in 112 million, according to "The Book of Odds" by Amram Shapiro.
Here's a roundup of scenarios that statistics predict are more likely than winning this Wednesday's Powerball:
If you're into gambling, you'd have much better chances at the poker table — the odds of being dealt a royal flush in the card game are 1 in 649,740. [8 Weird Statistics About Daily Life]
Even if you've never golfed, you're more likely to snag a hole in one than to draw the winning ticket. According to Golf Digest, an amateur golfer's odds of getting an ace are 1 in 12,500.
And you're more likely to end up in the emergency room due to a pogo-stick accident than to win this Powerball drawing — the odds of that are 1 in 175,667, according to "The Book of Odds" (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2014).
You're also more likely to have quintuplets, the odds of which are 1 in 92,720, according to "The Book of Odds." (Having quintuplets naturally is even rarer; about two-thirds of higher-order births are the result of in vitro fertilization.)
When it comes to weird ways to die, a number of highly unlikely scenarios have better odds than hitting the jackpot.
For instance, the odds of being killed by a lightning strike are 1 in 164,968, the National Safety Council reports. And "The Book of Odds" notes that, although you're less likely to die by falling into the Grand Canyon (1 in 1.586 million), it's still more likely than winning the Powerball. In fact, you're more likely to be murdered in the Grand Canyon (odds: 1 in 8.2 million) than to win this week's Powerball.
Here are some more ways of dying that are more common than winning this week's Powerball drawing, also from the National Safety Council:
- Being bitten or struck by a dog: 1 in 116,448
- Being stung by a hornet, wasp or bee: 1 in 55,764
- Cataclysmic storm: 1 in 6,780
But it's not all bad news — you're still more likely to draw the winning lottery ticket than you are to pick a perfect NCAA tournament bracket. According to mathematicians, your chances of that are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. (That's if you filled it out randomly, of course.)
And while you're more likely to find a four-leaf clover than to win — odds of 1 in 10,000 — your odds of finding 21 of them at once, like one very lucky Australian did in 2014, are about "one in a number with 84 zeroes," Australia's Daily Telegraph reports.