COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Americans will be glued to their televisions at 11 p.m. Wednesday as the fate of one of the highest lottery jackpots in U.S. history rides on the outcomes of six Powerball numbers.
Lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions are paradoxes, in a way. Everyone who enters has an equal chance to win, but because the sheer odds of winning are so high, the jackpot can balloon to more than a billion dollars.
The highest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a $1.586 billion Powerball drawing in 2016. Wednesday’s drawing for $730 million will be the 4th-highest Powerball ever and the 7th-highest U.S. jackpot. (Friday night’s expected $970-million Mega Millions will rank No. 3.)
The odds of winning a Powerball drawing are 1 in 292,201,338, and the odds of winning Mega Millions are 1 in 302,575,350. Here is a list of 10 things more likely to happen to you:
- 1 in 580: Catching a foul ball at a baseball game, according to baseball research website Foul Ballz.
- 1 in 1,000: Finding two yolks in the same egg, according to the BBC.
- 1 in 3,000: Being struck by lightning in your lifetime, according to National Geographic.
- 1 in 10,000: Finding a four-leaf clover, according to University of Delaware professor John Frett.
- 1 in 10,000: Finding a pearl in an oyster, according to Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center curator Beth Firchau.
- 1 in 11,500: Bowling a perfect game, according to Golf Digest.
- 1 in 12,000: Golfing a hole-in-one, according to Golf Digest.
- 1 in 336,400: Catching two foul balls at a baseball game, according to Foul Ballz.
- 1 in 3.7 million: Being killed by a shark, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
- 1 in 60 million: Dying in a plane crash, according to author Ben Sherwood.
What else to know
A Powerball ticket costs $2, and it’s an extra $1 to tack on the powerplay that can multiply your lower-tier winnings up to tenfold. Tickets are sold until 10:45 p.m., and the drawing is at 11 p.m. Eastern.
Ohio is one of 10 states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas are the others.