Posted: Jordan Grimmer | January 13, 2016


10 Crazy Outcomes More Probable than Winning the Powerball

Powerball Jackpot

With the next drawing for the now $1.5 billion Powerball Lottery scheduled for tonight (Jan. 13, 2016), millions of people across the country are buying up lottery tickets like it's going out of style. And if nobody wins tonight, the jackpot could jump up to $2 billion (with a b) dollars! Everyone is weighing in on the Powerball: news organizations are looking for ways to explain just how much money that is (while fake news organizations make fun of those comparisons); countless arguments are springing up over whether dividing the winnings among the entire U.S. population would solve the poverty crisis (it will not); and even A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian are fascinated by the Powerball's record-setting jackpot:

The odds of a single person winning the entire $1.5 billion Powerball are one in 292.2 million! That's a that's a 0.000000034% chance you'll win, which some financial experts have labeled as "astronomically" unlikely. And to show just how unlikely your chances of winning actually are, we've compiled a list of extremely unlikely outcomes that still have better odds than the Powerball:

Becoming a Famous Movie Star: 1 in 1.5 Million

[caption id="attachment_4517" align="aligncenter" width="600"](Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images) (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images)[/caption]

Despite the fact that opportunities and outlets for becoming a big-time star have never been more favorable for rising stars and starlets, the odds of any one individual achieving household-name status are still quite low. Still, if getting famous and making lots of money is your life's ambition, you'll have much better luck as an actor than winning the Powerball (though the amount of people asking you for money might remain constant throughout).

Picking the Correct Final Four of Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament: 2 in 5.9 Million


Having a perfect Men's NCAA basketball tournament bracket is nothing short of statistically impossible. Statistics experts calculate that correctly predicting the outcome of every game in tournament carries less than a one in 9.2 quintillion (18 zeroes) chance. So, obviously, choosing the correct final four should be a cakewalk - especially if you're that one girl in everyone's bracket group who knows absolutely nothing about basketball.

Playing in the NBA: 1 in 6.8 Million


And speaking of basketball, you might as well save the money of Powerball tickets and invest in a pair of expensive basketball shoes, because you are so much more likely to suit up with your favorite NBA team than win the Powerball. And when you consider just how poorly the Lakers are playing right now, the odds of getting a call while you're sitting on your couch don't seem that terrible.

Dying from Being a Lefty Using Right-Handed Products: 1 in 7 Million

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While 1:7,000,000 seems astonishingly low, that still equates to roughly 43 left-handed people in the United States who die using right-handed products. So think twice before you hand your local lefty that dangerous can opener or pair of scissors. It might just be the last thing they do, and still more likely to happen than either of you winning the Powerball.

Being Struck by Lightning. Twice: 1 in 9 Million


As if getting struck by lightning once wasn't bad enough. But in terms of very large numbers, the odds of getting struck by lighting once in your entire lifetime are fairly high, roughly one in 12,000. But getting struck twice, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. And as crazy as it sounds, it's actually happened to people. And it could happen to you if you're lucky (or unlucky, as it were).

Becoming the Next President of the United States: 1 in 10 Million


But then again, who would really want to be?

Having Identical Quadruplets: 1 in 15 Million

10 8 2010 - The " Sister Wives" Controversey: Fascinating Families

When it comes to getting pregnant and giving birth in general, there are so many factors at play: the health, age, and weight of the mother, other hereditary and biological factors, and even the place you live and access you have can greatly influence whether or not you have a baby. All things considered, having a multiple-birth pregnancy is only 1:67 odds, which is pretty good, but having four babies at once and identical to boot, and you'll start thinking anything is possible. Except for winning the Powerball, which you will not.

Achieving "Sainthood": 1 in 20 Million

Vatican New Saints

Obviously, you first have to be Catholic, which you statistically already are. But that's the easy part. You have to lead a virtuous life, have faith, and clearly demonstrate you had the support and help of The Almighty. Having a few documented miracles under your belt (like perhaps, winning the Powerball) wouldn't hurt either.

Having an IQ of 190 or Over: 1 in 107 Million


According to The Big Bang Theory, even Dr. Sheldon Cooper only has an IQ level of a measly 187. But it doesn't take an IQ of 190 to know that the Powerball does not divide among the entire U.S. population at $4.33 million a pop.

Being Killed by a Vending Machine: 1 in 112 Million


Rounding out our list is probably one of the saddest and most inexplicable ways of dying, and it's still more than twice as likely to happen as winning the Powerball. Most people who do end up being killed by a vending machine either get stuck inside or underneath one, no doubt in an attempt to shake free that stubborn bag of chips hanging on the hook. But hey, if you do end of winning the Powerball, you can simply get your lump sum in quarters, and buy the contents of every vending machine you see - thus preventing twos, maybe threes of unlikely deaths in the process.


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Written by Jordan Grimmer

Jordan Grimmer is the head content manager, editor, and writer at He oversees all on-site content production, the Medium page, as well as his own personal blog. You can follow Jordan on Twitter.

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