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Winning Powerball? It's More Likely A Vending Machine Will Kill You

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Update at 12:25 p.m. ET: Since we first posted, the jackpot's been increased to $550 million from $500 million when the day began, so we've changed that figure below. That doesn't do anything to change the odds of winning.

Our original post:

Though many of us are buying tickets in the hope of winning tonight's $550 million Powerball jackpot, we should do our civic duty and remind everyone that the odds of winning it all are 1 in 175 million.

And that means it's more likely, at least judging from one sort-of-old but widely cited statistic, that you'll be crushed to death by a vending machine as you try to shake loose a stubborn candy bar.

The supposed odds of such a death? About 1 in 112 million.

What's more, you're much more likely to die from a bite or blow inflicted by man's best friend than you are to have the winning ticket in tonight's Powerball drawing. The National Safety Council says the odds of dying from a dog bite or blow are 1 in 144,899.

Of course, if you don't buy a ticket then your odds of winning (if our math is correct) would seem to be zero.

Tonight's jackpot — which, of course, may not be won by anyone — is the second-largest in U.S. history. The only bigger one was a $656 million Mega Millions jackpot in March.

Meanwhile, our question is still open.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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