Long odds: You’re more likely to die in a lightning strike than win $800 million Powerball jackpot
(Jan. 8, 2016) – The odds of winning the record $800 million Powerball jackpot are stacked against you. According to the multistate lottery, the odds of winning are 1 in 292 million (the exact odds are 1 in 292,201,338, according to Powerball.com).
The odds were “slightly” better for Powerball drawings before October, when organizers made a tweak to the game. Previously, players chose five numbers out of 59; now, players make their selections from 69 numbers.
Nailing down the Powerball is slightly easier, however. Players now choose from 26 numbers instead of 39, boosting the odds of winning even a small prize from 1 in 32 to 1 in 25. If you get just the Powerball right, you win $4.
But winning the massive Powerball jackpot (or even the million dollar prize: odds are 1 in 11.7 million) is much, much harder. Powerball organizers made the change with the thinking that fewer winners means more rollover pots, which equals larger jackpots and more players. Considering Saturday’s jackpot is worth a record $800 million and almost everyone in Indiana has Powerball fever, that line of thinking appears to be correct.
Odds are, you won’t win. Still, as the old saying goes, you can’t win if you don’t play. Just keep in mind that you have a higher likelihood of having the following things happen to you than hitting that sweet, sweet $800 million jackpot:
- Have an IQ of 190 or greater (1 out of 107 million)
- Give birth to quadruplets, even without the help of fertility treatments – (1 in 729,000)
- Be killed by an asteroid strike (1 in 700,000)
- Being an American billionaire (1 in 575,097)
- Be killed by a lightning strike – (1 in 164,968)
- Die by drowning (1 in 1,113)
- Be struck by lightning, while drowning (1 in 183 million)
CNN contributed to this story