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Winning Powerball? Math Professor Says The Odds Are Even Worse Than You Originally Thought

PASADENA ( —  The force might be with you. Lucky might be your lady tonight or tomorrow. But if you're already dreaming about spending your Powerball winnings, not so fast.

KCAL9's Tom Wait reports the overwhelming odds are pretty ... overwhelming.

Yes, you are more likely to get bitten by a shark or hit by lightning ... or hit by a lightning bolt while a shark nibbles at your leg. Better put, the odds are definitely not in your favor.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are out there. Wait spoke to  a math professor at Caltech, who illustrates just how slim our chances are of scoring the massive prize.

"It's about 1 in 300 million," said professor Omer Tamuz.

"Imagine taking 74 flights out of LAX and each one of them leaving on time. The chances of that are low, but winning the Powerball that's even lower chances," the professor explains.

Or picture another scenario – replace your GPS with a monkey. The professor says your chances of reaching your destination are better with the monkey than winning the Powerball.

If your final destination was 17 intersections away? "What are the odds the monkey could get you to your place?" said Tamuz. Your odds of getting to the right place are still better than Powerball.

The most popular Powerball numbers are 8, 14, 29, 39, 54 and Powerball 29, but Tamuz says there's no such thing as lucky numbers. The order of numbers doesn't change your odds either.

"If you're guessing a random set of numbers, 17, 3, 5 ... you don't have a better chance of winning than if you guess 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6," he says.

Wait asked the professor what the odds are of him buying a ticket – the answer: slim to none.

For more information about Powerball, go to their official website.

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