The United States of Powerball
The latest Powerball jackpot is now up to $1.5 billion, setting off a frenzy of Americans rushing to convenience stores to purchase tickets. Here are six fun facts about the largest jackpot ever. (OK, maybe they’re not all fun.)
1. You kind of have to win twice. The jackpot sequence is selected from five white balls pulled out of a drum of 69 balls. Then another, a red ball, is picked from a drum of 26 red balls. You have to pick both to win the jackpot.
2. You’re probably not going to win, anyway. A person’s odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 292.2 million. To put that into perspective, you’re more likely to become a movie star, get drafted to the NBA or be killed by lightning.
Imagine finding the one lucky dollar bill out of the millions of dollar bills ...
3. Sure you can team up with your colleagues and purchase a set of tickets to increase your odds. But it won’t really make a difference. Even if you bought 10 tickets or 100 tickets, you’d still be more likely to become president – or get attacked by a shark – than win the big prize.
4. Imagine finding the one lucky dollar bill out of the millions of dollar bills that have been spread out one-by-one across the country and up both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts – at least two times, according to the American Statistical Association.
5. If you do win, the tax bill is going to hurt. After federal taxes, your take-home is likely to be $561.7 million, according to CNBC. And that doesn’t account for state taxes, which will likely be well over $100 million.
6. Someone will eventually win the jackpot. Only one person needs to be lucky enough to pick the sequence. It just won’t be you.