The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is now topping $454 million. While the odds of winning are long, where do they stack up compared to other out-of-the-ordinary events?
According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, the group that runs the Powerball drawing with 45 state lottery offices, the odds of matching the five white balls, out of 69, and picking the correct red Powerball, out of 26, are 1 in 292,201,338.
Yes, those are long odds, but they are also consistent. While it may become more likely that someone will win if more people buy a ticket with a growing prize, the odds for each player are always consistent.
There aren’t too many things less likely than winning the top Powerball prize, though two things stand out at the top of the list. The odds for hitting a Mega Millions jackpot, the other multi-state lotto drawing, are a bit tougher at 1 in 302,575,350.
Another thing way less likely than hitting the Powerball is picking a perfect bracket in the March Madness tournament. According to a report from the NCAA, the chance of nailing a pristine bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 – or 9.2 QUINTILLION – if you just flip a coin. If you know a bit about hoops, your odds are better, but still only 1 in 120.2 billion.
Still, there are many things that may seem impossible but are actually way more likely than taking home $454 million Wednesday night.
The scariest odds of all – as of 2021, 1 in 243 taxpayers faced an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Let’s talk about some good things. Your odds of bowling a perfect game are 1 in 11,500, while the chances of hitting a hole-in-one are 1 in 12,500. If you are heading to the ballpark, the odds of grabbing a foul ball from the stands is only 1 in 835.
Looking for better odds when it comes to gambling? Poker players have a 4 in 2,598,960 chance of getting a Royal Flush (four chances because of the four suits), while the odds of hitting the jackpot on a classic standard slot machine are 1 in 262,144.
For those looking for the luck of the Irish, just search for a four-leaf clover. Statistics show that this version of the plant happens 1 in 10,000 times.
The Multi-State Lottery Association points out that the odds of playing and winning some level of prize – not just the jackpot – are much better, at 1 in 24.9.
Ticket sales go through 8:59 p.m. CDT Wednesday. Good luck!