Powerball’s long odds

Mark Boesen stands in line to purchase Powerball lottery tickets at Bluebird Liquor store in Hawthorne Wednesday morning.
(Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)

It’s hard to avoid Powerball fever since the jackpot reached half a billion dollars before Wednesday night’s drawing.

Here are some sobering statistics for those dreaming about hitting that jackpot.

Quiz: Test your knowledge of Powerball

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are the same at each drawing — about 1 in 176 million. You’re more likely to be killed by an asteroid in your lifetime. Below are odds of other things happening to you:


•Any person’s lifetime odds of being killed by an asteroid impact: 1 in 700,000.

•Odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack (in about the last five years): 1 in 20 million.

•Odds of dying in a shark attack: 1 in 3.1 million.

•Odds of dating a supermodel: 1 in 880,000.

•Chance of being struck by lightning: 1 in 12,000 — but some climate scientists predict that will narrow to 1 in 8,000 by 2100.

•Odds of dying from flesh-eating bacteria: 1 in a million.

•The odds of having an 11th toe: 1 in 500.