News & Views » Detroit News

The Powerball jackpot is $500 million and the odds of winning are still impossible


The Powerball jackpot is now at a sweet half-billion. That'd be a nice boost to your checking account balance, right? We could all use a half-billion. 

With that in mind, here's a life rule to abide by: don't buy a lotto ticket. The odd of winning are one in 175 million. And yet you'll still find reporters at dying newspapers across the nation today filing copy with quotes from someone at a local gas station who explains, gladly, what they would do with a half-billion dollars, which they won't win.

But you can do better by saving one, five, ten dollars — whatever you plan to lose at the lotto — and spend it elsewhere! Gas is cheaper than usual right now. Put a few gallons in the tank. Buy a burrito. 

OK, OK: let's say you win tonight (you won't). The cash-option prize, which would be sweet, is nearly $340 million. But plenty of people have won the lottery — and then blew through it all. So, yeah: the big jackpot isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Here are some things that have a better odds of happening, according to another article about why winning the lottery is impossible:
  • Death by vending machine (one in 112 million)
  • Becoming president (one in 10 million)
  • Dying in a plane crash (one in 1 million)
  • Having identical quadruplets (one in 15 million)
  • Becoming a movie star (one in 1.5 million)

If you keep your savings, Qdoba will apparently give you a free burrito if you buy one and kiss someone at the register on Valentine's Day. See, eating a burrito this week is a better idea. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.