Ah, the lottery...
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.”
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.