The Powerball lottery drawing for Wednesday evening currently has an estimated jackpot of $1.4 billion, which equates to a cash value of roughly $868 million. The group that runs the lottery – The Multi-State Lottery Association – estimates the odds at winning the grand prize at 1 in 292,201,338.
Quite possibly the best part of the Powerball jackpot reaching such absurd levels is the cascade of inevitable bizarre probability comparisons that statisticians and journalists seek out. You have better odds of hitting a hole-in-one on back-to-back par 3s, being crushed by a vending machine, becoming the president of the United States and being killed by a random airplane part falling out the sky. My favorite may be that you are far more likely to be struck by lightning while drowning than to win the Powerball.