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.