BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Lottery’s Mega Millions jackpot has soared to a record $1.1 billion, and if you haven’t already, you might want to consider picking up a ticket for your chance to win big.
But what are the odds of winning?
On Thursday, Virginia Tech statistician JP Morgan explained the possibility of winning to put it into perspective.
According to the statement, the chance of winning the jackpot is now one in 302,575,350.
“Now, 303 million seems like a pretty big number, but even so, it can be hard to think about,” Morgan said. “What does one chance in 303 million really mean?”
To explain the chances of winning, Morgan gave a scenario where you took your time entering the Mega Millions until you won.
“Let’s say you take a minute to fill out a Mega Millions entry form and pay to enter,” Morgan said. “Do this every minute, non-stop, 24 hours a day, until you have entered all possible combinations. It will take 575 years to enter them all.”
And if you’re still determined to play, Morgan suggested doing one thing:
“Try to play a combination of numbers that a lot of other people won’t play,” Morgan said. “That way, if by some fantastic improbability you win, the pot won’t be shared among many people. This is the only strategy you can invoke to maximize your earnings. Nothing you can do will increase your chances of winning, but you can try to avoid a split pot.”
Morgan also said you might as well add some imagination to your ticket.
“Perhaps the best way to play Mega Millions is to play with your imagination. Write down your number combination on a piece of paper, then put it in an envelope with a $2 bill. When the draw, open the envelope. Your combination won’t match the winning combination, but you’ll have $2! That’s two dollars more than if you’d actually played.”
The next draw will be on Friday at 11 p.m
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