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13 things more likely than winning the lottery

The lottery only costs £2 and could win you millions. Totally worth it, right? Well just check out this list of outrageous things that are more likely than a lottery win, and see what you think…

things more likely than winning the lottery

Credit (left): K J Payne – Flickr

The lottery has always been almost impossible to win, but since they added 10 extra numbers to the pot back in 2015, the odds have got even worse.

Back when the balls went up to 49, you had about a 1 in 14 million chance of winning. But with the numbers 50–59 joining the party, the odds have jumped to 1 in 47 million.

And as if that wasn't enough, the price has also doubled to £2 per entry in recent years.

A multi-million pound jackpot may sound tempting, but if the odds and entry fee aren't enough to put you off, check out this list of completely bizarre things that are still more likely to happen than you winning the lottery.

These odds were taken from various different sources, and given the outlandishness of some of the events, the numbers should be taken with a fairly large pinch of salt! Multiple lottery entries and playing on different days will alter your chances, but overall the odds are very, very slim!
  1. Repaying your student loan in full

    will you repay your student loan

    Chance of happening: 1 in 5 (ish)

    Here at Save the Student, we're always making a point of just how unlikely you are to repay your student loan in full. So the fact that even we are admitting that it's more likely than winning the lottery should put your odds into perspective.

    We're exaggerating a bit here, but not that much. It's estimated that 77% (almost 4 in 5) of students will never pay back their loans in full, meaning that you've only got a 1 in 5 chance of clearing your debt.

    While this is still about 9.4 million times more likely than winning the lottery, it's still fairly unlikely, and it's worth thinking long and hard about whether or not you should repay your student loan early.

  2. Alien existence to be proven in 2018

    alien life more likely than winning lottery

    Credit: Beckie – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 9

    Most scientists seem to agree that alien life probably exists in some form, somewhere in the universe. However, it'd come as a shock to us all if this was confirmed beyond doubt in 2018.

    Nonetheless, a leading bookmaker (the most scientific of all sources) reckons that in 2018 there's a 1 in 9 chance of the US President making a statement confirming the existence of intelligent life from another planet. In other words, it's over 5 million times more likely than you winning the lottery.

  3. Being struck by lightning

    being struck by lightning likelihood

    Chance of happening: 1 in 10 million

    If you knew that you were almost five times more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery jackpot, would you still be so keen to check your numbers?

    Well that's the reality of the situation, even with the chances of being hit by a bolt standing at a whopping 1 in 10 million.

  4. Katie Price or Katie Hopkins to be the next Doctor Who

    katie hopkins katie price new dr who odds

    Left credit: Lwp Kommunikáció – Flickr; Right credit: TaylorHerring – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 126

    Katie Price: model, TV personality, author… timelord? Even with her eventful past, becoming the next Doctor Who would be one of the craziest thing she's ever done, and the bookies have all but ruled it out by pricing her at a huge 125/1 (or 1 in 126).

    Disappointingly for Ms Price, she's considered just as unlikely to be the next Doctor as professional sh*tstirrer Katie Hopkins. But the less said about her, the better.

  5. Dying from being left-handed and using a right-handed product incorrectly

    weird way to die more likely than lottery

    Credit: Carltg9 – Wikicommons

    Chance of happening: 1 in 4.4 million

    No, this isn't a joke. It turns out that around 2,500 people every year die from being left-handed and using a right-handed piece of equipment incorrectly.

    In fact, when you start to look at the actual causes of death, it's a lot easier to understand how the figure is that high. Circular saws, for example, are usually made separately for left- and right-handed people.

    But whether or not you think it's a bizarre way to go, the fact remains: you're more than 10 times more likely to die this way than win the lottery (unless you're right-handed, of course…).

  6. Winning an Oscar

    Credit: Davidlohr Bueso – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 11,500

    Instinctively you might think that packing in uni and becoming a Hollywood megastar is about as unlikely as winning the lottery. But you'd be wrong.

    Your chances of winning an Academy Award are a relatively small 1 in 11,500. But that's still over 4,000 times more likely than winning the lottery, and just over twice as unlikely as Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2016.

    Admittedly Leicester's 5,000/1 triumph was a statistical and sporting miracle, but don't let that stop you from dreaming. If winning an Oscar is only twice as unlikely as something that actually happened, we say: go ahead and become the next Leonardo Di Caprio.

  7. Dating a supermodel

    more likely to date supermodel than win lottery

    Credit: Paramount

    Chance of happening: 1 in 88,000

    Now, we're not saying that it's all about appearances, but it's always nice to go out with someone who's really, really, ridiculously good looking.

    And not to get your hopes up or anything (1 in 88,000 is still ludicrously unlikely), but you're over 500 times more likely to date a supermodel than you are to win the lottery.

  8. The world to end in 2018

    apocalypse more likely than lottery win

    Chance of happening: 1 in 501

    On a rather more bleak note, one leading bookmaker is offering odds of 500/1 (or 1 in 501 of the world ending in 2018). This is worrying for two reasons.

    Firstly, you might well know someone who once won a bet with odds of around 500/1. Secondly, if the world is going to end in 2018, you seriously need to make a move on that whole ‘dating a supermodel' thing.

    Quite why you'd place a bet on something that you wouldn't be able to claim the winnings from remains to be seen, but if these odds are accurate, 2018 being the year of the apocalypse is about 94,000 times more likely than winning the lottery. Kinda makes uni feel a bit pointless, doesn't it?

  9. Kim Kardashian becoming the President of the United States of America

    Kim Kardashian to become POTUS odds

    Credit: Tatiana T – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 501

    The keen satirists among you might say that Kim Kardashian becoming the President of the United States basically is Armageddon – and with odds of 500/1 (1 in 501), the bookies reckon it's just as likely to happen as the world ending in 2018.

    Coincidence? Yes, as the odds on Kimmy K becoming POTUS refer to the 2020 election, which as we all know, is two years after 2018. We can accuse her of many things, but ending the world in 2018 by becoming President in 2020 is not one of them.

  10. Finding a four-leaf clover

    chances of finding four leaf clover

    Credit: Lindley Ashline – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 10,000

    If four-leaf clovers really are as lucky as they're made out to be, maybe having one will boost the likelihood of a lottery win. Sadly, though, your chances of even finding this rarest of plants are a minuscule 1 in 10,000.

    That said, you're still 4,700 times more likely to chance upon a four leaf clover than you are to win the lottery.

    Or, to put it another way, if you're considering entering the lottery or digging in the dirt for a clover, your time is probably better spent trying to get a first.

  11. Becoming an astronaut

    more likely to become astronaut than win lottery

    Chance of happening: 1 in 12 million

    Apparently your chances of becoming an astronaut aren't one in infinite and beyond – but they're not far off. 1 in 12 million is outrageously unlikely, though if it's your dream to go into outer space, don't let this put you off! Hard work and plenty of brains could dramatically increase your chances.

    Unfortunately, no amount of hard work and brains will help you win the lottery, and it's still about four times less likely than you taking one small step for man.

  12. Being crushed by a meteor

    more likely to be hit by meteor than win lottery

    Credit: rwarrin – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 700,000

    Meteors fall to earth all the time. It's just that they usually burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the ground, and end up being far too small to cause anyone any harm (like in that episode of The Simpsons where Bart spots a comet and everyone thinks it'll end the world).

    But every now and then a big daddy makes its way in, and these are the ones that could crush you. We're not sure just how often a meteor hits a UK university campus, but worldwide there's a 1 in 700,000 chance of being crushed by one, making it about 67 times more likely to happen than you winning the lottery. Bad times.

  13. Winning an Olympic gold medal

    chance of winning gold medal olympics

    Credit: Hilts uk – Flickr

    Chance of happening: 1 in 662,000

    When you account for the work, natural talent and sheer determination required to become the very best in the world at any given sport, it's perhaps not a huge surprise that your chances of winning an Olympic gold medal are just 1 in 662,000.

    Nonetheless, given that an Olympic triumph is still over 70 times more likely than winning the lottery, hitting the university gym in search of global success is still more sensible than trying to ace the lottery.

So, next time there's a rollover and you think about buying four or five tickets, just remember: you're four times more likely to go into outer space than you are to win the lottery.

Now that you've saved yourself another £2 a week, see if you can hack the £10 challenge. That's right – living for one week on just £10!

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