Lotteries

Mega Millions: The Odds of Hitting the Jackpot


Tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is the biggest jackpot ever: $640 million, which has been growing since an Atlanta woman last hit it big and won $72 million on Jan. 24. That’s a strangely long dry spell. Chances are someone’s going to win soon, if not tonight. But don’t get your hopes up. The odds are 176 million to 1. You’re more likely to die from being crushed by a vending machine. People are still snapping up an average of 14 million tickets an hour, though. At a dollar apiece, there’s not much to lose. Unless you’re buying in bulk, like the Washington Wizards’ Chris Singleton, who says he’s buying $10,000 worth of tickets. Just in case you think you might be preternaturally lucky (or unlucky), here’s a rundown of some other long odds.

Data: Book of Odds
Daniel is graphics director for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferdaniel.
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Philips is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington. Follow him on Twitter @matthewaphilips.

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