As Powerball Jackpot Rises To $875 Million, These Are The Odds Of Winning

The Powerball jackpot is now worth $875 million, but bettors' odds of winning are slim.

Friday, July 14th 2023, 10:36 am

By: CBS News

The Powerball jackpot is now worth $875 million, but bettors' odds of winning are slim.

The pot rose from $750 million after there were no winners in Wednesday's drawing. For $2, those who want a shot at winning the big prize get one ticket with odds of winning of 1 in 292.2 million.

Beyond purchasing multiple tickets, there's little players can do to improve those odds, according to betting experts. Certainly, it's extremely unlikely that you'll win the big prize, but chances are also slim that you'll win even a few bucks. 

"Even if you're buying 50 tickets, the likelihood is that you're almost certain to still lose and not win the jackpot," Harvard University statistician Mark Glickman told CBS News. "In fact, the chance at winning even $4 by playing is still pretty small."

Indeed, the odds of winning $4 -- just twice the cost of a ticket — are 1 in 38.32.

As for winning the entire pot, Powerball players are significantly more likely to be attacked by a grizzly bear at Yellowstone National Park (1 in 2.7 million), according to the National Park Service, or to come across a rare blue lobster in the ocean (1 in 2 million). 

The odds of being struck by lighting are even higher at 1 in 15,300, according to the National Weather Service. 

Can I improve my odds?

Still, for those adamant about giving it a shot, the best number-picking strategy is not to pick figures associated with significant events like a birthday, for example. 

Instead, match the computer strategy used to generate the winning digits: Choose them randomly, or use a ticket number generator, Glickman said. 

"Really the best thing you can do is be level-headed about it [and] not buy too many tickets because you're throwing away your money," he said. "The key is to pick your picks at random because that will lower your chances of splitting the money with other people." 

First published on July 13, 2023 / 11:38 AM

© 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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