The Mega Millions winning number for the largest jackpot in the game's history --$500 million -- won't be known until Friday's drawing. But many people are already dreaming of what they'd do if they hit it big. Yet most have a better chance of being struck by lightening or having identical quadruplets than becoming a multi-million dollar lottery winner.
To win the Mega Millions jackpot, players need to match five numbers from one to 56 and then a sixth number from one to 46. The odds of doing so? One in 176 million, according to the Mega Millions website.
It's a sucker's bet, Michael Shackleford, who is known as the Wizard of Odds, told ABC News.
For certain small bets we are 'risk loving,' the professor of casino math at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said. That is to say we are willing to make a poor expected value bet for the chance to have an enormous 'transformative' gain.
No matter which numbers you pick or the jackpot size, it's impossible to improve your odds, he said. Instead, try to minimize the numbers you share with other people so on the off chance you do win, you won't have to share your prize.
Everyone was born in a month from one to 12 and days are 1 and 31, ignoring the late 30s and 40s, said Shackleford. If someone were picking birthdays, they have a greater chance to split it with other birthday pickers.
So just how unlikely are you to win? Click through the slideshow to see things that are more likely to happen than you winning the lottery.