Powerball. Euromillions. Millionaire Maker. Mega Millions.
Merely hearing these words can lead to an adrenaline rush, a surge of hope and a lottery ticket purchase. The fact of the matter is, the lottery is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason: people love money, and they would fork out the dough to win a large sum of money.
Winning the lottery has been and always will be a near-impossible task. How likely is it that someone gets all the correct numbers that are drawn? The chances of actually winning are astronomical!
So unlikely, in fact, that the following 14 things have a better chance of happening. From being struck by lightning to winning an Oscar to getting a hole in one, things that seem improbable are viewed in a different light when compared to the ridiculous odds of guessing a bunch of numbers correctly.
For the purpose of this list, all entries and their odds of occurring will be compared to the Powerball, where five numbers must be picked between 1 and 59, with an additional number being picked between 1 and 35. There are over 5 million possible combinations of 5-number tickets. When adding that extra number at the end, the probability of winning the Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510.
14 Dating a Millionaire – Odds: 1 in 215
Finding wealth in addition to love is a better bet - statistically - than simply landing a financial jackpot. And this way, you get both money and love. Indeed, the odds of dating a millionaire in the United States are surprisingly high, especially when compared to the astronomical odds of winning the lottery.
Look no further than the dating site Millionaire Match to see just how many wealthy people exist that are a finger-click away. Supposedly over 2 million single millionaires on that site are looking for love from other rich people!
It might not be the easiest thing to do, but the percentages are there: people are way more likely to locate, attract and date a millionaire than to win the lottery.
13 Being Struck by Lightning – Odds: 1 in 10,000
You’ve been… Thunderstruck! If that’s not the case, well, it’s hard to break it to you, but chances are greater of you being struck by lightning than winning that darn lottery.
The National Weather Service has done the research, stating that over an 80-year lifetime, the odds of getting hit by lightning are 1 in 10,000. The Harvard School of Public Health expanded on the research, claiming that actually dying from being struck by lightning is about 1 in 3 million.
Word to the wise: be careful when buying a lottery ticket during a storm! The odds are not on your side.
12 Finding a Four-Leaf Clover – Odds: 1 in 10,000
Next on the list is a lucky charm. Whether as a kid or an adult, a person hasn’t achieved one of life’s requirements unless they’ve spent a significant amount of time in a field or grassy spot looking for a four-leaf clover among the thousands of boring three-leafed ones.
According to Irish tradition, each leaf of the rare clover represents luck, faith, hope and love. A person is 176,000 times more likely to find the famed four-leaf clover than to win the lottery – so much for the luck of the Irish.
At the end of the day, something that is perceived as so incredibly lucky is actually quite common when compared to other odds.
11 Winning an Oscar – Odds: 1 in 11,500
Get the acceptance speeches ready. While the point is not to undermine the work that goes into earning the prestigious award, chances of winning an Oscar are considerably greater than winning the jackpot.
Of course, winning an Academy Award doesn’t strictly involve acting. Singers, songwriters, computer techies and even make-up artists and clothes designers can win the award. With a plethora of Oscars awarded to people besides actors, the probability of winning one is heavily increased, especially when one considers that the odds of becoming a huge film star and box office draw is closer to 1 in a million.
Buying a ticket to Tinseltown may prove to be more beneficial than buying a lottery ticket.
10 Amateur Golfer Getting a Hole in One – Odds: 1 in 12,500
Getting a hole in one is not an easy thing to do, especially as an amateur golfer. Someone doesn’t have to be Tiger Woods to accomplish such a feat, but the odds aren’t great. What the odds do point out, however, is that it’s much more likely for an amateur golfer to get that elusive hole in one than it is to win the lottery.
U.S Hole in One, a company that insures golf prizes for hole in ones, stated that an amateur golfer hitting his target on the first try on a par-3 hole is about 1 in 12,500. Another interesting stat they released claimed that getting consecutive hole in ones in a par-3 hole is 1 in about 156 million. Does that seem like an astronomical number? It is, but it’s still more likely to occur than a lottery win.
9 Being Dealt a Royal Flush – Odds: 1 in 650,000
It’s always good to practice that poker face, because it’ll be hard to hide the excitement if a Royal Flush is dealt.
Considered the best hand in poker, a Royal Flush consists of a ten, jack, queen, king and ace, all of the same suit. With so many possible 5-card combinations – 2,598,960 to be exact – it’s very unlikely a poker player gets the coveted hand. As is the theme of this list, however, chances are much greater for a dealer to hand out a Royal Flush than it is to win the jackpot.
While the chances of being dealt a Royal Flush in straight poker are about 1 in 650,000, Texas Hold’em offers better chances at 1 in 34,000. Choose which game to play wisely!
8 Winning an Olympic Gold Medal – Odds: 1 in 662,000
Standing on a podium, gold medal round the neck, listening to the national anthem while the runner-ups wearing silver and bronze at the sides wonder “what if” – this scenario is more likely to occur than winning the lottery.
Taking into consideration both Summer and Winter events, a person has a 1 in 662,000 chance of winning an Olympic gold medal in their lifetime. Just like winning an Oscar, a lot of hard work and dedication is necessary to even put oneself in a position to win, let alone win the darn thing entirely.
AsapSCIENCE, a Canadian YouTube channel, crunched some numbers and concluded that hailing from Liechtenstein would yield the best odds of winning a gold medal during the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, the sport of curling provides the best chances of winning gold, considering the high number of participants, the older age of its athletes, and the fact that someone doesn’t necessarily have to be in the best physical shape for the sport.
7 Dying from a Bee Sting – Odds: 1 in 6.1 Million
There are a lot of ways people can die. Dying from a bee sting, as unlikely as it is, has a better chance of occurring than winning the lottery.
The Harvard School of Public Health claims that the odds of being stung by a bee and dying are 1 in 6.1 million. Only a person with a bee sting allergy would die from being stung, thus making it highly improbable. The World Health Organisation reported 54 cases of bee sting deaths in the United States among a population of 281 million in 2000.
Be wary of these flying insects looking to pollinate: they could be a lot deadlier than anyone thinks.
6 Being Killed Using a Right-Handed Product if You’re a Lefty – Odds: 1 in 7 Million
Lefties have it hard. From writing to using various tools, it seems that the struggle is real for people who use their left hand to perform everyday tasks.
With more than 2,500 cases of lefties dying every year around the world from using tools and equipment meant for righties, the odds aren’t that high of such a death occurring. It is, however, more likely to occur than – you guessed it – winning the lottery.
The right-handed power saw is the number one perpetrator of these deaths. While a lot of lefties could potentially mishandle the tool and have a fatal accident, it can safely be assumed that many right-handed individuals die just as much, if not more, from sawing accidents, so no need to fret, lefties! Just be careful.
5 Killed by Falling Airplane Part – Odds: 1 in 10 Million
Donnie Darko knows all too well about the next entry on this list. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, it’s part of a plane… and chances are greater of getting hit by that falling plane part than it is to win the lottery.
The odds of suffering such a terrible fate are pretty slim. One has to wonder how important these falling pieces are for the plane’s ability to stay airborne. If it’s a critical component… a lot more people are in danger than the one person in the part’s trajectory.
With 1,300 people dying in plane crashes worldwide according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, getting struck by a falling airplane part doesn’t seem very probable. It can’t hurt to always keep an eye in the sky, though…
4 Becoming President of the United States – Odds: 1 in 10 Million
Who knew being sworn in as the president of the United States is more likely to occur than winning the lottery?
The International Business Times states that a person has a 1 in 10 million shot at becoming the United States president. The field of potential candidates is narrowed down considerably with the criteria stating that one must be born on U.S. soil in order to submit their candidacy.
Still, with 4 million children being born in the United States every year in addition to the millions already populating the country, the chances of joining a very select group of individuals is greater than winning the lottery.
3 Shark Attack – Odds: 1 in 11.5 Million
Although popular opinion states just how terrifying sharks are, they’re not the underwater killers pop culture has made them out to be. That’s not to say sharks aren’t one of the most dangerous animals on the planet – because they are.
With 40 cases of people being killed by shark attacks every year, it can’t be stressed enough how dangerous this animal can be, especially when visiting coasts known to be inhabited by the predator.
According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, the odds of getting attacked by a shark are 1 in 11.5 million – considerably less than winning a fortune.
2 Giving Birth to Identical Quadruplets – Odds: 1 in 13 Million
Identical quadruplets: that means there are four exact little faces with the same four pairs of eyes looking right at you. There’s something beautiful yet unnerving about the thought of that…
The chances of giving birth to identical quadruplets are slim, yet not as slim as winning the Powerball jackpot. Heck, having quadruplets in the first place is a rare accomplishment; yielding four of the same, which has a 1 in 13 million chance of happening, is unheard of.
This rare phenomenon occurs when a single fertilised egg splits up into four different parts inside mom’s uterus. It’s one thing to share a birthday. Even sharing toys and the parents’ attention isn’t so bad. It’s another thing altogether to share the exact same face with not one, not two, but three other individuals…
1 Crushed and Killed by a Vending Machine – Odds: 1 in 112 Million
If only this was a joke. People are more likely to get crushed and killed while trying to get a snack than they are of winning the lottery. Let that sink in a little.
According to Discovery News, the odds of being crushed and killed by a vending machine are 1 in 112 million. Who would have thought that an immobile machine that dispenses food and drinks in the least harmful way imaginable would be a cold-blooded killer?
The reported vending machine deaths supposedly occurred when impatient, angry individuals manhandled the machine when it either ate their coins or when the items it dispenses got stuck. Whatever the case, always be wary of these hulking behemoths. When all is said and done, they have a better chance of taking a life than anyone has of winning the lottery.