With the jackpots for the Mega Millions ($1 billion) and Powerball ($470 million) lotteries reaching more than a billion dollars combined, lottery fever has gripped the country.

With renewed interest, dozens of articles have popped up claiming that they have tips to help you win the big money.

QUESTION

Is there anything you can do to increase your odds of winning the lottery?

ANSWER

Yes, there is a way to increase your odds of winning. Buy more tickets. Or join a group that is buying a larger number of tickets. That's the only way to increase your odds because it quite literally gives you more chances at winning.

Otherwise all the tips and methods of play that are being shared are just advice or guidance on how to get the largest share of the pot if you do win.

THE ODDS ARE STILL SLIM

Let’s break down just how unbelievably rare it is to win the jackpot.

According to Lottery USA, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302.6 million and the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.

Combine those two and the odds of winning both jackpots for more than a billion dollars comes out to 1 in 88 quadrillion. That's the number 88 followed by 15 zeros.

So yeah, pretty low odds. In fact, here are three wild and crazy things that are much more likely to happen compared the slim chances of winning the lottery. Using the Mega Millions number we calculated the following:

  1. According to CDC numbers, you are about 30,000 times more likely to get injured in your bathroom, a 1 in 10 thousand chance, compared to winning the Mega Millions jackpot.
  2. National Weather Service Data shows you're about 250 times more likely to be struck by lightning this year with odds of 1 in 1,171,000.
  3. A "Jaws" scenario, or death by shark attack, is 80 times more likely according to the Florida Shark Museum with odds of about 1 in 3,748,067.

As you can see, it's fairly unlikely that any of those things will happen to you, but it's massively more unlikely that you can win one or both of the jackpots.

As mentioned above, the only definite way to raise those incredibly small chances is to buy more tickets.

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