The Power Ball or Mega Millions odds of winning the jackpot are approximately 175 million to one. Canada’s Lotto Max has an almost 1 in 29 million odds of winning it all. Americans spend on average $200 annually on lottery tickets. For some inexplicable reason the confident citizens of Massachusetts lead all states by far by spending $735 annually, expecting they’ll win as much as their Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins. The following are 30 irritating reasons why, logically and rationally, it’s not a good idea to spend money in hopes of a mega-life-altering pay day.
Every person has better odds of the following than winning a major lottery jackpot:
1-8) “If you believe in the odds of winning the lottery, then you should never fly or drive. You are more apt to be killed in a plane crash, where the odds are 25 million to one, and far more likely to die in a car accident, where the odds are only 5,000 to one.
“Similarly, you should start sleeping on the floor. The odds of being killed by falling out of bed are 2 million to one. You should also take showers instead of baths. The odds of drowning while taking a bath are 840,000 to one. But don't think you can improve your chances by avoiding cleanliness altogether. The odds of dying from flesh-eating bacteria are only 1 million to one.
“Maybe you'll have better luck outside. Not! The odds of being killed by lightning are 2 million to one while being mauled to death by a dog are 700,000 to one. Bring your anti-venom kit outdoors with you. You are even more likely to die from a snake bite or bee sting, where the odds are 100,000 to one.”
9 – 13) Having Identical Quadruplets - Odds: 1 in 15 million
Becoming President - Odds: 1 in 10 million
Becoming a Movie Star - Odds: 1 in 1,505,000
Dying in an On-the-Job Accident - Odds: 1 in 48,000
Being murdered - Odds: 1 in 18,000
14) “You have a 1 in 340,733 chance of getting killed by fireworks. So if you use pyrotechnics to celebrate winning the lottery, please know that your odds of dying from those fireworks are 857 times greater than hitting the jackpot you just won.”
15 – 26) Heart disease, cancer, stroke, hospital infection, flu, suicide, accidental poisoning, falls, drowning, bike accidents, excessive cold, sun / heat exposure, train crash.
27) “If you calculate (258,890,849/258,890,850)180,000,000, you'll find that it's approximately equal to 50%. Which also means that your odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot finally reach the 50-50 mark after playing 180 million times! Since the game is played twice a week, you could play 104 times per year. If you buy 1 ticket each game, there's a 50-50 chance that you'll win the jackpot sometime in the next 1.7 million years!”
28 -29) “Say you're standing on a football field. You're blindfolded and holding a pin. A friend has released an ant on the field. Your chance of piercing that ant with your pin is about the same as winning a Lotto 6/49 jackpot. One in 14 million. Not exactly a sure bet.
“Mike Orkin, a professor of statistics at California State University, East Bay, and author of What are the odds?, describes the odds of winning the Powerball lottery this way: ‘Let's say you have one friend in Canada, and you put everybody in Canada's name on pieces of paper, and put them in a giant hat and draw one out at random. Then, you are 2½ times more likely to pick your one friend's name than you are to win the Powerball jackpot if you buy a single ticket.’"
30) “Want to turn the odds in your favor? Consider investing your lottery cash elsewhere. The investing world has one near sure thing -- U.S. Treasury bills. These supersafe investments have posted only one money-losing year in the 90-year history examined by market researchers at Ibbotson, a division of Morningstar Investments. Although Treasurys won't make you rich overnight, if our hypothetical lottery player invested the same amount of cash ($735 per year) in T-bills year after year, he would have a tidy $62,447 at the end of 40 years -- $44,158 more than he would end up with playing the lottery.”
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