In case you haven’t heard, the powerball was won last night. The jackpot was 1.6 billion dollars. That’s one billion, six hundred million dollars. $1,600,000,000. I don’t know about you, but I could live pretty comfortably on that. Even without those last three zeros.

Do you know what the odds were of winning? Besides next to nothing, of course. 1 in 292,200,000. That’s nearly 1 in every person in the USA. And there were three reported winners! Florida, California, and Tennessee. I have family in Florida, but I haven’t heard anything, yet.

There are odds even more slim than this though. And it’s been successful for over seven billion people.

Think of the odds of 30,000 consecutive coin flips ALL landing their edge.

The odds of every resident of Alaska sneezing at the exact same time.

The odds of 100,000 people all winning that powerball jackpot.

The odds of being struck by lightning 1,200 times in one day!

Those are some pretty slim odds, if you ask me. But these odds have all been successful for the 7+ billion people on Earth. These are the odds of you.

Yes. You. And you and you and you and you and you. All of you!

These are the odds of me, too.

It is estimated that 13.8 billion years ago our universe was created. Since that point of singularity, the universe has also been creating you. You are 13.8 billion years in the making.

Then a rocky body developed within the “Goldilocks Zone” of a young star. A sun. Then 3.8 billion years ago, give or take, life started. Then each step of evolution had to lead to human beings. Then you mom and dad had to meet face to face AND go on to have a child. Just the right sperm and egg would have to meet to create you with all your defining characteristics. And that would have had to happen throughout your 50,000 generations of your lineage.

Mathematically the odds of that entire combination is 1 in 10 x 974076. Or for the rest of us, that’s a 1 with nine hundred thousand (900,000) zeros after it. That’s roughly the odds for everything in that bulleted paragraph.

Yet, here we are.

So you probably didn’t win powerball. No need to feel unlucky. The odds of you are FAR greater.

I remember reading somewhere about how statistics are very strange. The example that they gave is winning the lottery twice… Statistically, the chances that any one person wins the lottery twice is infinitesimal…so small you may as well not even think about it. However, when you look at the number of human beings who are currently on this planet, the statistical chances that SOMEONE will win the lottery twice are actually pretty high.
And stuff like that is why I hate statistics. lol

You’re odds are zero (impossible) if you don’t play. By buying a ticket you’re at least in the competition. I’d rather have a billion dollars than read blogs 🙂 But since I don’t have a billion dollars, reading your blog will be the next best thing!

The couple of bucks I might have spent on a ticket- with those odds, went into a vending machine where I scored a “Share Size” bag of M&Ms. That I ate all by myself. Atop of the cosmic lottery you mention, I won again….and even got change back.

That was the most well spent couple of bucks ever. No losing tickets for you! Jackpot for getting all the M&M’s to yourself. Congrats on winning the cosmic lottery as well. You’re the only you who won!

Great post. One of the winners lives about 15 miles from me… So close yet so far. 😦

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Now if we could only learn how to bend space and time with black holes, 15 minutes could be right next door!

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“Even without those last three zeroes.” Amen to that, Eric!

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I can’t even imagine 1 with 900 zeroes after it, let alone 900,000 zeroes!

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Great post. Now I don’t feel so bad about not winning. Oh..wait. I didn’t even buy a ticket so i guess that reduces my odd considerably, huh?😉

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Lol. I meant to add that to my post. Your odds increase dramatically when you buy a ticket.

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I’m still stuck on $1,600,000,000…

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I’ve never heard of the lottery reaching a billion!

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I remember reading somewhere about how statistics are very strange. The example that they gave is winning the lottery twice… Statistically, the chances that any one person wins the lottery twice is infinitesimal…so small you may as well not even think about it. However, when you look at the number of human beings who are currently on this planet, the statistical chances that SOMEONE will win the lottery twice are actually pretty high.

And stuff like that is why I hate statistics. lol

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That’s exact reason that I like statistics! The statistics of winning that powerball were incredibly low. 1 in 292.2 million. Yet 3 people won it.

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You’re right. The odds of my reading your blog are much better.

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Those are the odds I like 🙂

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my odds would improve by only a little if I actually played. HA. Besides, I prefer to read your blog, so I still feel like a winner!

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You’re odds are zero (impossible) if you don’t play. By buying a ticket you’re at least in the competition. I’d rather have a billion dollars than read blogs 🙂 But since I don’t have a billion dollars, reading your blog will be the next best thing!

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Ha, fair point sir and thank you!

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The couple of bucks I might have spent on a ticket- with those odds, went into a vending machine where I scored a “Share Size” bag of M&Ms. That I ate all by myself. Atop of the cosmic lottery you mention, I won again….and even got change back.

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That was the most well spent couple of bucks ever. No losing tickets for you! Jackpot for getting all the M&M’s to yourself. Congrats on winning the cosmic lottery as well. You’re the only you who won!

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