Odds of winning the PowerBall

In less than 24 hours someone may be $1.5 billion dollars richer. The sky-high jackpot sparked PowerBall fever on a scale that's never been seen before. But there is another number to keep in mind, the astronomical odds of picking the winning numbers

- In less than 24 hours someone may be $1.5 billion dollars richer. The sky-high jackpot sparked PowerBall fever on a scale that's never been seen before. But there is another number to keep in mind, the astronomical odds of picking the winning numbers.

With the help of ASU mathematic professor Nicolas Lanchier we factored those odds and got a lesson on how the odds are calculated when it comes to winning the PowerBall.

Your odds of winning the jackpot? 1 in 292,201,338. In contract the odds of winning -any- prize is 1 in 24.87.

The professor used an equation to show no matter how high the jackpot, the odds do not change. That's because the number of ways the five numbers on your ticket can match the five white balls, and the number of ways your PowerBall can match the single PowerBall number do not change.

"The rules are not changing, so the probability of winning does not change. The only difference is because the jackpot is higher, you can win more," said Lanchier.

So whether you buy one ticket, or 1,000 tickets, your odds are the same. But still, that's not stopping people from giving it a shot.

"Yeah, you hate to be left out. I know I'm throwing my money away, but somebody's gotta win," he said.


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