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Mega Millions Odds: How Likely Are You To Win $640 Million Jackpot?

Posted: 03/30/2012 2:59 pm Updated: 03/30/2012 6:22 pm

Mega Millions Odds
Mega Millions Odds: Chances of winning the $640 million jackpot are 1 in about 176 million. The Mega Millions drawing will take place Friday, March 30 at 11 p.m. ET.

May the Mega Millions odds be ever in my favor.

That's certainly the attitude thousands of hopeful ticket-holders are sporting as the Mega Millions jackpot surged to $640 million Friday afternoon.

But what are the odds of winning the largest jackpot in U.S. history?

One in roughly 176 million, the Los Angeles Times observes.

In other words, there's a substantially better chance of scoring a hole in one during a round of golf (1 in 13,000) or getting struck by lightning (1 in 576,000) than picking all six winning numbers, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Or to look at it another way, there's a better chance of becoming a professional athlete (1 in 24,000) or even an astronaut (1 in 12 million), WETM News reports.

And if you want to get gruesome, there's even a better chance of being crushed to death by a vending machine (1 in 112 million), according to the Daily Beast.

But is there a special formula to picking the winning numbers?

Not really, Live Science reports. During every drawing, each number still has the same chance of being chosen:

So, whether you pick 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, have your numbers assigned randomly, or carefully select numbers with noteworthy histories, your chances of winning Mega Millions are pretty much the same.

For the optimists out there, here's some simple (and uplifting!) advice:

"Just buy a ticket, sit back and see if fate points a finger at you for that day," Chuck Strutt of the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, told the Associated Press.

After all, somebody has to win.

The winning numbers will be announced on Friday, March 30 at 11 p.m. ET.

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Filed by Ileana Llorens  |