It's that time of the year again: with both the Mega Millions and the Powerball lotteries accumulating jackpots greater than $350 million, countless Americans - mostly those in lower income groups - are splurging on lottery tickets, hoping to get rich quick.
Unfortunately for virtually everyone, it will never happen: the odds of winning both (or either) are absolutely staggering, a bit worse than 1 in 75.6 quadrillion, or 1 in 75,648,252,765,957,300 to be precise. On a percentage basis, one only has a 0.000000000000000013% chance of holding both winning tickets. Putting these odds in context, they are about 6,000 times worse than the odds experts have calculated of being killed by a meteorite strike -- at the same time you're being attacked by a shark. The odds of winning "only" one jackpot are not much higher: the Powerball winning odds are 1 in 292 million, while those for Mega Million are slightly better: 1 in 259 million.
Here is an even more stunning statistic: in 2016, Americans spent more than $80 billion on lottery tickets last year, more than they spend on movies, video games, music, sports tickets and books - combined.