Powerball: One in a Million – or 175 Times That

Powerball: One in a Million - or 175 Times That
The Powerball – we’ve all heard of it, and many of us have played it. In fact, millions take part in this special lottery. Spending $2 seems completely insignificant compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars you have the chance to take home.

After Wednesday’s drawing, three people cashed in on the grand prize, allowing them to split a $448 million jackpot. One winner hails from Minnesota, while two others come from a little storm-torn state called New Jersey.

So, what are the chances these three people, along with the rest of the country, had in winning? According to the statistics put together by CNN, there was a 1 in 175,000,000 chance of matching Wednesday’s Powerball numbers. According to the US Census, there are currently about 316.5 million people living within the United States. If we want to do the math (and most of us don’t), that means only two people had the chances of winning Wednesday night, but there were three winners. Lucky night? Lucky drawing?

Luck’s got everything to do with it, but maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye. According to statistics, there’s a higher chance of winning the lottery in states like Indiana, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. That makes perfect sense – the bigger the state, then the more people living in it. In concordance with that, there would be more people playing the lottery, and therefore, a better chance of winning.

If that is the case, then how did not only one, but two people from New Jersey win that Powerball lottery? According to certain statistics, you have a fifteen times better chance of being attacked by a shark than winning the big jackpot. There’s a twenty-nine times better chance of being chased by a swarm of bee, and you could be struck by lightning fifty-eight times before you get the chance to win the Powerball.

As noted before, winning the lottery has everything to do with luck. Would it be off-base to then state that those who’ve faced some truly devastating times, those who feel like they’re luck is all but gone, could have a better chance of winning the jackpot? If this were a perfect world, I think we’d all like to believe this… and maybe that’s what happened to those two Jersey residents Wednesday night. One of those winners hailed from a part of New Jersey that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy less than a year ago.

It’s still very early, and Wednesday’s winners have not yet been identified, so there’s no way to tell if that NJ resident was a homeowner who lost literally everything in the wake of the superstorm. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that someone who lost everything in a matter of hours could win it all back, and then some, with a few lucky numbers? Would that not inspire us all?

Then again, the winners could just be average Joes, middle-class citizens living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to find a place in the world (hard to do in this economy). Even then, would we not be proud of them; would we not cheer that, for some people, God has a greater plan?

Maybe, just maybe, everything written here is a load of crock, and the Powerball hits on random numbers that anyone, literally anyone, could have on their ticket. There’s no luck, no divine intervention; it’s merely all about statistics. If those statistics are correct, then, maybe the sharks, killer bees, and lightning strikes don’t have to come before the Powerball win… maybe they come afterwards.

God be with you, Powerball winners. And stay out of the water.

Written By: Sabrina Bush
Sources / Supporting Links / Works Cited (If none, please type “none”): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brLutxpwV5A

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