Powerball Odds: You're More Likely To Be Struck By Lightning

By: CNN, posted by Josh Mabry
By: CNN, posted by Josh Mabry

(CNN) -- Last March, when the people of America were drooling at the thought of winning a record \$656 million Mega Millions jackpot, we poured an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You weren't going to win.

And you didn't. Three winning tickets were sold, but you weren't involved. It was never going to happen. As we wrote then, you stood a better chance at hitting two consecutive holes in one on a par-3 golf hole than winning that jackpot.

Now, with a record \$500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know -- someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won't be you.

The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we're sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

-- Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.

-- Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.

From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

-- An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.

-- A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million.

From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

-- Hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely: 1 in 6,267.

From the National Weather Service:

-- Being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach injury statistics:

-- Drowning and other beach-related fatalities: 1 in 2 million.

-- Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million.

What do you think about your chances of winning on Wednesday? Weigh in below, or on Twitter using #whataretheodds.

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