How long are the odds?

November 29, 2012

People in this area and across the nation were swept up this week in the frenzy to purchase Powerball tickets when the jackpot grew to $500 million and beyond.

No matter that the odds of winning that lottery are astronomical – 175 million to 1. The hopeful waited in line, in some places for hours, to plunk down $2 for a chance to be filthy rich. Some people, who really can’t afford to buy any tickets, purchased many, thinking this would dramatically improve their odds of winning. But 175 million-to-10 odds are really no better.

The talking baby in a popular television commercial jokes your chances of hitting the jackpot are as good as being attacked by a polar bear and a regular bear on the same day.

Being that the actual odds of giving birth to conjoined twins are 200,000 to 1, perhaps the odds of winning the Powerball are about equal to a man giving birth to conjoined twins.

What are the chances of coming across a crocodile hiding in your wine cellar? Or how about being able to communicate in French with a raccoon? Probably about those of buying the winning ticket.

On Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show Tuesday, the character Guillermo suggested writing your numbers on a sheet of paper, then rolling it up with two dollars and shoving it down the garbage disposal. “That’s where your money goes!” he said.

Here’s a more practical use for dollar bills than buying lottery tickets: Stack them neatly in the bathroom within easy reach, where some used to keep the Sears catalog.



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