The Mega Millions has topped $1 billion and Powerball is at $800 million. These are the odds you’re facing.



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If you think the odds of hitting a jackpot on a slot machine in Las Vegas are a longshot, you might want to skip buying a lottery ticket this week.

The Mega Millions jackpot has crossed the $1 billion line after the lottery once again failed to find a winner Friday night. The jackpot now stands at $1.1 billion, with an estimated cash option of $525.8 million. The Powerball lottery, meanwhile, currently stands at a not-too-shabby $800 million.

Sweet right? Problem is, the chances of winning are well beyond long.

Let’s go back to that jackpot victory on the one-armed bandit in Vegas. On the tightest slot machine in Vegas, the chances of winning the top prize are about one in 34 million. The odds of winning Mega Millions are nearly nine times higher than that.

Lottery officials say the chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. With the Powerball, the odds of taking the grand prize are 1 in 292,201,338.

Numbers that big are impossible to wrap your brain around, though. So let’s put that into a bit of context.

The 1980 U.S. Men’s hockey team victory over the U.S.S.R – the “Miracle on Ice” – only had odds of 1,000 to one.

Your odds of being struck by lightning this year are 1 in 1.5 million, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

You’ve got a one in 1,600,000 chance of dying from a local meteorite, asteroid, or comet impact, according to a 2014 paper by Tulane University earth sciences professor Stephen A. Nelson.

The odds of being killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067.

The chances of you dying in a Grand Canyon flash flood stand at 1 in 14,270,000, according to The Book of Odds.

Even if you really show up the oddsmakers and make three consecutive holes in one the next time you hit the links, it still won’t put you close to your chances of winning Powerball. Your chances of a phenomenally successful day on the greens currently stand at ‘just’ 156,250,000 to 1.

But let’s not end this on a down note. Last year, a high school freshman managed to sink three hole in ones in a single day. So miracles do happen. They’re just exceedingly rare.

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