We’ve all done it — you’re hit with an unexpected stroke of luck, and your knee-jerk reaction is to shout, “Man, I should play the lottery!”
No, you shouldn’t. Winning a game of Bingo at the local community center doesn’t mean the next stop on the luck train is the Mega Millions jackpot.
That said, it’s still fun to think about the over-the-top lifestyle you could create using the money. So you play, hoping you’ll get as lucky as that one time you won the raffle at your sister’s bridal shower.
When it comes to winning, the lottery statistics aren’t in your favor. Does that mean you shouldn’t play?
Take a look at these five fascinating facts and statistics and decide for yourself:
1. Lottery Statistics 101: You’re More Likely to Become a Saint Than Win
That’s right. Throw on a robe and call yourself the Patron Saint of Never Going To Win The Lottery.
Let’s look at the stats: You have a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning the Mega Millions jackpot. Your odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are a tad better, at 1 in 292,201,338. Your chance at being named a saint? One in 20 million.
You also have a better shot at being struck by lightning, crushed by a vending machine, mauled by a dog, or hit by an asteroid. If you’re left-handed, beware: your odds of dying from misusing a right-handed product are way higher than winning the lottery.
It’s also more likely that you’ll live until the age of 110 than win millions, so we’ll call that the silver lining.
2. Black Cats Are Considered Unlucky, but Not to Lottery Players
Breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, or coming across a black cat are all signs of trouble ahead, right? Not if you’re a hardcore lottery player.
Many superstitious players stroke the fur of a black cat with their lottery tickets, believing it brings good luck. In reality, the outcome probably won’t be any different, but at least the cat gets a nice back scratch out of it.
Other bizarre rituals include: running the ticket over a pregnant woman’s stomach (they know it’s a pregnant belly and not a Buddha belly, right?), asking the store clerk to give you the ticket using their right-hand (sorry again, lefties), and wearing red when buying a ticket.
3. A Fortune Cookie Helped Over 100 People Win
Speaking of weird lottery rituals, many people turn to the lucky numbers found in fortune cookies. In a crazy plot twist, a group of Chinese-food-loving people used this method and won.
In 2005, there were 110 second-place winners from a single Powerball drawing. Lottery officials investigated after suspecting fraud but found all the winners consulted the same fortune cookie. In Queens, New York, Wonton Food Inc. unknowingly printed the winning lottery numbers on the cookie slip.
4. Six Mega Millions Jackpots Were Won on Friday the 13th
What is it with lottery winners relying on universally unlucky rituals?
Michigan alone had four Mega Millions winners in June 2008, May 2011, June 2014, and October 2017 (which was also shared with a winner in Rhode Island). New York had a Friday the 13th winner in March 2009, and Ohio had one in November 2015.
5. If You Win, You’ll Probably Be Cursed
You hear it time and time again — someone wins millions playing the lottery, only to blow it all in the blink of an eye. It makes sense, considering 70% of people who suddenly receive a boatload of cash will lose it within a few years.
On a more tragic note, suicide and murder are other consequences of winning the jackpot. After winning the lottery in 2009, Abraham Shakespeare was befriended by a greedy woman who ended up murdering him and burying his body under a concrete slab in a backyard.
Of course, that’s an extreme example of the so-called “curse of the lottery.” Most times, poor money management is the main culprit. If you’re lucky enough to win, do the smart thing— hire a professional financial service (like Rightway Funding) to help you out.
Read More Fascinating Articles
If you enjoyed reading about fascinating lottery statistics, check out some of our other fun lifestyle articles. If the financial aspect is more your thing, we have sections dedicated to finance and business. You never know when you might win the lottery, so study up on our savings and investment advice!