Powerball Jackpot Hits Record High

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

For some, having the chance to win half a billion dollars is an opportunity too good to pass. Ellenore Johnson doesn't usually play the lottery, but this time, she's just one of many trying their luck.

"It's a big chance, everybody is out to try," Johnson said.

It's big money, but the chance not so much. MSU statistics and probability professor, Raoul LaPage, says according to his calculations, the chance someone will hit the Powerball jackpot is just one in 175 million.

"We get them from the number of winning combinations and the number of combinations offered," Prof. LaPage said.

Prof. LaPage has the game tied to calculations and mathematical formulas. To simplify, the chance of one in 175 million is rougly equal to the probability of someone tossing a coin and getting heads 27 times in a row.

Years back, Prof. LaPage designed a lottery game himself and says as with Powerball, the games are designed to be random. That means, winning numbers in the past may not do the same for you.

Regardless, Johnson is throwing her numbers into the pool and hoping that odds are in her favor.

"It's a lot of money, I can go see my grandkids in California, in New Mexico and I can see my daughter in Florida," said Johnson.

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