Powerball fever is coming to a head tonight. With the largest lottery prize ever, $1.5 billion, America has gone crazy, snapping up tickets left and right, and everyone wants to win.
It’s one of the few times that people can find the fun in statistics, which is why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory asked one of their resident statisticians, Kristin Lennox, to decode the “math behind the mania” in the short and sweet video above.
In the video, Lennox points out that while the sheer number of tickets being sold makes it incredibly likely that someone will win tonight’s jackpot, the chances of an individual person winning the jackpot are really slim. 1 in 292 million slim. But, she also points out that the lottery is viewed as an entertainment expense. If you had fun buying that $2 lottery ticket, great! If you can’t get past the odds, you might be better off doing what Lennox does and fold your dollars into origami armadillos.
For more Powerball fun, you can check out an infographic that we made in 2012 showing your chances of winning the lottery. If that’s not convincing, you can check your chances of winning the lottery here.
May the odds be ever in your favor.