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The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are not in your favor

By Nadine Maeser, nmaeser@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:41:06 AM EST
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 11:28:11 PM EDT

Tonight's Powerball jackpot is up to 400 *million dollars.
People across America are crossing their fingers for that one lucky ticket.

ROANOKE, Va. -

People across America are crossing their fingers for the winning ticket in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing.

It's the fourth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. According to Virginia lottery officials, the chances of winning the Powerball drawing are 1 in 176 million.

People have a better chance of losing their life than they do pocketing that jackpot money.

Mac Westland said the thought of winning $400 million is more than enough incentive to throw down a couple of bucks at the convenience store.

"If it gets large enough I’ll play a couple tickets, but generally I won't play,” said Westland.

Most people agree it’s easy to get caught up in thinking of all the things money could buy if you won the jackpot, but when you really start to think about the probability of having those five lucky numbers, reality sets in.

According to The Daily Beast, there are many other things that are more likely to happen to you than winning the jackpot.

Those include:

  • Death by a vending machine: one in 112 million.
  • Dying from bee, hornet or wasp stings: one in 6.1 million.
  • Becoming president: one in 10 million
  • Dying from being left-handed: one in 4.4 million
  • Becoming a movie star: one in 1,505,000.
  • Dying in a plane crash: one in one million.
  • Dying in a bathtub: one in 840,000.
  • Dying in a car accident: one in 6,700.
  • Having identical quadruplets: one in 15 million.

Here are some other interesting probabilities:

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

• Dying from a bee sting: one in 6.1 million.

• Dying from a lightning strike: one in 3 million.

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

• A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: one 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: one in 6,267.

From the National Weather Service:

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

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

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

• Being attacked by a shark: one in 11.5 million.