Friday, March 30, 2012 | 2 a.m.
The odds of winning the $500 million-plus Mega Millions jackpot are long. Really long. One in 176 million, to be exact. So how does that compare with other occurrences? Here's a look.
Hitting a 00 in roulette
There’s a 1 in 38 chance your number will come up by betting 00. Of course, the payout isn’t going to be as big as the lottery jackpot. But you’re likely to be able to play longer and have more fun. It’s one of the easiest games to understand in a casino.
Winning a progressive slot jackpot
Want a chance at winning a lottery-sized jackpot with better odds? Play a wide-area progressive slot, such as Money Vault. Odds are a mere 1 in 25 million for those playing in Nevada. A U.S. Marine recently hit a $2.8 million jackpot on that machine at the Bellagio.
Picking a perfect NCAA bracket
Welcome to the exception on this list — the item with odds far longer than winning Mega Millions. Nailing a bracket is practically impossible.Picking all winners in the first two rounds of the college playoffs alone carries odds of 13.46 million to 1.
Getting hit by lightning
According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, there's a 1 in 280,000 chance of being struck by lightning.