Published March 30, 2012
If you joined the office pool for this week’s Mega Millions Jackpot, chances are pretty solid that you’re not alone.
As of Friday afternoon the Jackpot was estimated to be worth a world record $640 million. That’s a lot of millions, but what are the odds you and your coworkers will be ready for retirement after tonight’s drawing? One in 176 million.
Sylvain Cappel, professor of mathematics at New York University and Vice President of the American Mathematical Society says, “What people need to be focused on is not the probability of winning, but the expectation of winning. The number of possibilities is really the denominator, you can only increase expectation. “
Cappel explains that the best way to increase the expectation of winning is by choosing numbers people think are unlucky. “Try to find out the numbers people aren’t picking. Avoid generalizations, patterns, birthdays, and numbers shared with other people.”
So while your coworkers are at the water cooler planning how they’d spend their share of the pie, you may want to let them know they have a better chance of becoming the next Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, according to Book of Odds. And how do you feel about sainthood? You might want to prepare for that before those millions, according to these statistics.
1.) You are more likely to die from an asteroid impact: 1 in 700,000.
2.) You are more likely to become a famous movie star: 1 in 1,505,000.
4.) The odds of finding a four- leaf clover on the first try is greater than your chance at striking it rich: 10,000 to 1.
5.) You are more likely to be canonized a saint than start living the high life as a Mega Millionaire. The odds of becoming a saint: 1 in 20,000,000.