Why Do We Play the Lottery?

(KTVI) -Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot pick is worth a half billion dollars. Your chances of winner are 1 in 175 million.  You’re more likely to die from a bee sting, be struck by lightning or have conjoined twins. So why do we bother?

Sara Hoffstot, Licensed Counselor tells us why.

More From CNN:

(CNN) — Last March, when the people of America were drooling at the thought of winning a record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, we poured an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You weren’t going to win.

And you didn’t. Three winning tickets were sold, but you weren’t involved. It was never going to happen. As we wrote then, you stood a better chance at hitting two consecutive holes in one than winning that jackpot.

Now, with a record $500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know — someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won’t be you.

The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we’re sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

– Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.

– Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.

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

– An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.

– A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 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: 1 in 6,267.

From the National Weather Service:

– Being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000.

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

– Drowning and other beach-related fatalities: 1 in 2 million.

– Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million.

What do you think about your chances of winning on Wednesday? Weigh in below, or on Twitter using #whataretheodds.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/
™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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