Mega Millions Jackpot: 10 Crazy Things More Likely than Hitting the Winning Numbers

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Rick Bowmer / AP

A customer at a convenience store holds her Mega Millions lottery tickets Friday, March 30, 2012, in Portland, Ore.

For most people, the appeal of the $640 million jackpot far outweighs the insanely slim chance they’ll actually win. Just how small are those odds? The likelihood you’ll win the Mega Millions jackpot tonight is a paltry, pathetic 1-in-175,711,536, which represents the total combinations of numbers available.

Wait a minute. At a cost of $1 per ticket, you could — theoretically — buy every combination, guaranteeing that you’ll win and still make a profit. But as more and more tickets continue to spew from machines across 42 states, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the odds of your victory diminish greatly. If there are at least 350 million tickets sold, there’s a 90% chance that at least two people will win – which means you’ll come out with a loss. Plus, you’ll have wasted many hours (and slaughtered an entire forest) printing the mountain of tickets.

(LIST: 10 Fun — and Odd — Facts About Mega Millions)

With that miniscule 1-in-176 million probability, let’s face it, the odds are heavily stacked against you. Here are ten absurd occurrences that are more likely to happen than you hitting all six Mega Millions digits:

Writing a New York Times bestseller (if you’re an author):

Dating a super model:

Drowning in the bathtub:

Dying by falling off a ladder:
1-in-2.3 million

Killed using a right-handed product if you’re a lefty:
1-in-7 million

Killed by falling airplane parts:
1-in-10 million

Birthing identical quadruplets:
1-in-13 million

Becoming a saint:
1-in-20 million

Making two holes-in-one in one round of golf:
1-in-67 million

Killed by a vending machine:
1-in-112 million

(MORE: Why You Should Go Ahead and Buy That Lottery Ticket)

For good measure, you are indeed more likely to win the massive Mega Millions pot (at 1-in-176 million odds) than you are to be:

Killed by a falling coconut:
1-in-250 million

Killed in a shark attack:
1-in-251 million

Killed by falling space junk:
1-in-21 trillion

Sure, most of these odds are only estimates by scientists and journalists, calculated by using the number of occurrences of such an event divided by the number of people on the Earth. While some of these odds fluctuate often (what random occurrence doesn’t?), it’s clear there are few fathomable things less likely to happen than winning this major jackpot. Don’t let us dissuade you, though – good luck!

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