Personal Finance

# You have a better chance of being killed by lightning than winning Powerball

Key Points
• The odds of snaring the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million.
• The \$700 million kitty is now the second-largest lottery prize in history.
• You almost certainly will not win.
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What are the odds of winning the Powerball?

Think you'll win Wednesday's \$700 million-plus Powerball drawing? You have a better shot at being eaten by a shark.

The odds of grabbing the grand prize are 1 in 292.2 million, according to the game's own assessment. To put this in context, your chances of being killed by a lightning strike are approximately 1 in 161,000. The odds of being killed in a shark attack are 1 in 3.7 million.

Even getting hit by a meteorite is more likely than winning the Powerball — 1 in 1.9 million.

In fact, your chance of getting struck by lightning, bitten by a shark, smacked by a meteor and hitting a hole-in-one on the same day is statistically far more likely than winning the jackpot, according to Jim Murphy of sportsbettingexperts.com.

But should such a miracle occur, don't expect to walk away with all \$700 million.

Lottery site USAMega.com estimates the 25 percent federal tax withholding on the Powerball's \$443.3 million lump sum would be \$110.8 million, and state taxes could knock out up to another \$39.1 million (with New York the worst offender). Taking the cash option on your winnings in New York would leave you with \$293.4 million after taxes.

The last Powerball winner was on June 14, when the jackpot was worth \$40 million. The largest prize in history was won in June 2016, when Powerball reached \$1.6 billion.

The Mega Millions jackpot, which was recently won after topping \$300 million, holds similarly abysmal odds: 1 in 258.9 million.

And the odds of winning both the Mega Millions and the Powerball are an even bigger stretch: 1 in 75,648,252,765,957,300. (That's 75 quadrillion.)