As of this evening, the Powerball lottery jackpot will exceed the $600,000,000 figure. Everyone’s going bananas. While nothing would make me happier to see one of my friends win (talking to you Hickey, Andrews, and all the others who are posting about it on Facebook!), I think it worth noting that the odds of winning the Powerball lottery are 1 in 175,223,510.
You’re more likely to die as a pedestrian than win the jackpot (1 in 701 chance, until municipalities get their act together and start more enthusiastically embracing the concept of Complete Streets, pedestrian zones, and other advances in urban living).
You have a better chance of being a movie star (1 in 1,505,000), getting struck by lightning (1 in 134,906), or becoming President of the U.S.A. (1 in 10,000,000).
So, before you rush to buy a ticket that you’ve never thought of buying before, bear in mind that you have a much better chance of becoming the “leader of the free world”, getting drafted to the NBA after college (if you’re a high school senior basketball player, the odds are 1 in 6,864,000), or making a hole in one on a par 3 hole (something 1 in 12,500 amateur golfers will accomplish, but still sounds like directions for knitting to me).