I like to think that I'm an optimistic guy. I also like gambling. Optimism and gambling don't go well together.
Unbelievably, no one won the Powerball on Saturday, January 9th so of course, it sounds like it's time for me to buy another ticket! When I see the 1 in 292,000,000 odds of winning Wednesday's $1.5 billion Powerball drawing, I take the Lloyd Christmas approach from Dumb and Dumber: "So you're telling me there's a chance?"
Most likely I'm out $10. But there's always that chance, right? What if? What would I do with $1.5 billion? Probably take the lump sum and wind up with a measly $806 million (roughly). I would use that money for good. Charities and stuff (of course, that's what everyone says, just to get karma on your side. Karma knows. It knows). I would want to open up a bloodhound sanctuary and give a bunch of money to elephants and lions to protect them from dentists from Minnesota. But the first thing I would do would be to buy an authentic Predator suit and then perch on downtown Spokane buildings just because I can. You know, important stuff.
What would you do with the money? Let me know on my Facebook page. I like hearing other people's dreams.
While it's fun to dream about charity, bloodhounds and Predator suits, in reality, there are apparently a plethora of other things that are more likely to happen than winning the Powerball drawing.
Extensive internet research (Googling + the first credible site I could find) shows I'm more likely to die in horrific ways or win an Academy Award than win the Powerball.
Here are just a few things that are more likely to happen to me than winning $1.5 billion Wednesday night according to Money Mini Blog:
- Killed by a vending machine (1 in 112 million): We have a vending machine here at work, but it's upstairs and I don't plan on going up there before I leave, so the only way I can see this happening is if someone wheels it over and somehow launches it on my head as I sit here and type thi.....AHHHHHHH! OUCH! Just kidding. That didn't really happen. And it probably won't.
- Becoming an astronaut (1 in 12.1 million): But if you win the lottery, and don't mind going to Russia, you can pay to be an astronaut! Is that still a thing?
- Getting attacked by a shark (1 in 11.5 million): I'm no Richard Dreyfus, but I'm pretty sure there aren't any sharks here in the Spokane area, so I feel like the odds of that happening are just about as likely as winning the lottery, but whatever you say random Google search.
- Becoming President of the United States (1 in 10 million): Your odds significantly improve if your last name is Bush or Clinton. There hasn't been a President Howard yet (You were so close William Howard Taft!), but if you'd like to write me in, I promise to make America great aga...wait. Nevermind.
- Dying from a bee, hornet or wasp sting (1 in 6.1 million): It's the middle of winter! How's this going to happen? Unless Nichole Mischke is keeping a hornet's nest in her desk next to mine and has been training them to specifically and systematically attack me at just the right moment. Otherwise, I'm probably safe. Though perhaps there is some sort of winter wasp I don't know about. If you are going to store hornets in a box, remember what Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia says: Always pop an "H" on the box so people know it's full of hornets.
- Becoming a movie star (1 in 1.5 million): These odds actually seem pretty good. I mean, if that guy from Twilight can do it, shouldn't we all be able to? Does anyone know an agent?
- Being killed by flesh-eating bacteria (1 in 1 million): I can't imagine a situation where this happens. Though last night I did go to the gym and forgot to bring my shower flip flops. Had to go barefoot. Uh oh. Stay tuned.
- Getting struck by lightning (1 in 1 million): I just spoke with Blake Jensen who assured me he didn't see any lightning in the forecast tonight. Blake has a pretty good track record. I think we're safe from this one.
- Drowning (1 in 2 million): Not planning on hitting an lakes or rivers on the way home. But I think I'll stay out of the gym pool... just for tonight.
- Drowning specifically in the bathtub (1 in 840,000): Those odds just significantly improved! Guess I'm not taking a bath tonight either.
- Dying in an on-the-job accident (1 in 48,000): I'm sitting at a computer. What could go wrong? According to every Final Destination movie I've ever seen... a lot. And there's still that vending machine scenario from earlier. I'm going to type extra carefully now.
- Becoming a pro athlete (1 in 22,000): This doesn't just mean football or baseball. If you get paid to play a sport, you're a pro athlete. Depending on your definition of a sport, I guess. It seems like with enough time and practice, we could all join the Profession Bowlers Association.
- Being murdered ( 1 in 18,000): Though those odds aren't city-specific, the fact that I have a 1 in 18,000 chance of being murdered is quite disturbing. I defer to my bouncer idol Dalton from Roadhouse: "Be Nice." That will at least up my odds of not getting murdered.
- Win an Oscar (1 in 11,500): Pretty good odds for you Leonardo DiCaprio! This is your year! I feel it! Just like I feel I'm going to win the Powerball tonight!
So that's pretty depressing that I have a better chance of all of those things happening to me than winning $500 million. However, as I said, I'm an optimist. At least when it comes to winning the lottery. So here are a few things that have worse odds than winning:
- Getting a perfect NCAA bracket (1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808): But if someone is going to offer you a billion dollars for getting one, you should try, right? As Wesley Snipes always says (probably) "Go Zags!"
- Shuffling a deck of cards into perfect, sequential order (1 in 10^68): This is so far fetched that we had to break out that little arrow to indicate an exponent!
- Being hit by a meteor: (1 in 182,138,880,000,000): I found a meteor one time in Idaho. Pulled in around a little red wagon. Ate hamburgers and french fries off of it. It was my best friend. I later found out it was just a frozen chunk of poopy from an airplane emptying its toilet at 36,000 feet. OK, that was Joe Dirt, not me. I wonder what the odds of actually discovering one of those Boeing Bombs is?
Anyway, there you go. Not all hope is lost. As they say, you can't win if you don't play! Have fun everyone! Please gamble responsibly!