How often is Lady Luck on your side? 7 things more likely than winning the lottery


Ah, the lottery… Lotto 484782 1920

Since its inception in the 15th century as a way to win cash prizes, its appeal has endured.

All over the world, people line up, sometimes for hours, in the hopes that they’ll finally strike gold and win financial freedom.

Even those who don’t play the game often daydream about what they would do if they won the Big Jackpot…

However, most of us probably know that the odds of actually winning are incredibly slim.

So slim, in fact, that winning the lotto in your lifetime is highly unlikely.

Just how slim are talking?

Let’s put a lotto win into context – here are some pipe dreams that you’re far more likely to achieve than winning the lottery:

1. You could win an Oscar 

Odds – 1:11,500 

Apparently, even without a lick of acting experience, you’ve got a better shot at hobnobbing with the Hollywood elite and triumphantly hoisting the gold statuette than winning a major lottery prize.

Even the odds of the Best Picture debacle of the 2017 Oscars happening again might be more likely, since it took less than three years for Steve Harvey to be outdone.

2. You could become an Olympic gold medalist

Odds ­– 1:662,000

This is an event that takes place only once every four years, with the best of the best athletes in the world training for years on end even to qualify to compete amongst the greatest congregation of sportspeople on the planet.

But the odds are, you could one of them sooner than you could guess a handful of numbers correctly.

3. You could date a millionaire

Odds – 1:215

This takes a bit more long-term effort and patience than lining up, if you want to make it last.

But it does get you in close proximity to that kind of money.

4. You could get attacked by a shark Boot 2435056 1920

Odds – 1:11.5 million

Yes, really: you’ve got a better chance of reenacting a scene from the Jaws movie than winning the Powerball.

5. You could become the President of the USA

Odds – 1:10 million

Okay, so there’s one big factor standing in your way here: you must be born in the US to become its President.

But that aside, the odds are more in your favour (especially now the Donald Trump has managed to bag the role) of becoming the leader of the free world than it they are of you winning millions via the lottery.

6. You could be murdered by a bee

Odds: 1:6.1 million 

No matter flying bugs that stings (including the bee and his contemporaries, the wasp and the hornet) freak so many people out. donald trump

They could actually kill you before you taste the honey-sweet flavor of a successful lottery win!

7. You could be crushed by a vending machine

Odds: 1:112 million 

There are those times when we feel like appliances hate us.

But even though being squashed by a vending machine is probably one of the most improbable ways to go, a glass box of soda and chips is more likely to murder you before you glimpse a winning lottery ticket.

“Okay,” you might think, “those are some big odds though.”

So, what is the chance of winning the lottery?

A tiny 1 in 176 million.

If you’re thinking of laying it on the line at the lottery booth every week for a chance to get out of the rat race, think again.

The sharks and the bees will be waiting for you first.



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'How often is Lady Luck on your side? 7 things more likely than winning the lottery' have 1 comment

    Avatar for Michael Yardney

    September 10, 2018 Scott Stevens

    Mr. Yardney, I assume your post on “7 things more likely than winning the lottery” was intended as a bit of fun, but the numbers appear to be rubbish–at least, unless you are assuming some priors that aren’t included in the statistics. The odds of winning an Oscar might make sense if we assume the reader is in the film industry, but pretty obviously not if we just assume that they are from, say, the US or Australia. The statement about the odds of becoming President of the US makes it clearer that you’re assuming the person is a US citizen, but “that aside”, it’s supposed to hold. But the population of the US is about 325 million people. Assuming that your reader isn’t more likely than most to win the Presidency, this probability requires them to have a shot at being elected for over 30 election cycles, or 120 years of being over age 35. Unless your readership is considerably more likely to become President than the average American, this ain’t happening any time soon.
    I teach statistics and mathematics to a large variety of students, and I’d be very interested in where you got the figures that you offer in this post. Thanks.


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