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  • You, win the $500M Powerball jackpot? It's not happening

    Last March, when the people of America were drooling at the thought of winning a record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, we poured an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You weren't going to win.

    And you didn't. Three winning tickets were sold, but you weren't involved. It was never going to happen. As we wrote then, you stood a better chance at hitting two consecutive holes in one than winning that jackpot.

    Now, with a record $500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know -- someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won't be you.

    Why you keep playing the lottery

    The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we're sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.
    Lottery winners' lives ruined

    From the Harvard School of Public Health:

    -- Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.

    -- Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.

    From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

    You, win the $500M Powerball jackpot
    -- An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.

    -- A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million.

    From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

    -- Hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely: 1 in 6,267.
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