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12 things more likely than winning the lottery

The lottery only costs £2 and could win you millions. It might sound worth it at first... but check out this list of outrageous things that are more likely than a lottery win, and see what you think.

lottery logo and woman jumping on bed

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, your chances of winning the lottery have jumped to 1 in 45 million.

A multi-million-pound jackpot may sound tempting, but if the odds and the £2 entry fee aren't enough to put you off, check out this list of completely bizarre things that are still more likely to happen.

These odds were taken from various 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.

Things with better odds than winning the lottery

These are some of the weirdest things that have a better chance of happening than you winning the lottery:

  1. Dating a supermodel

    two red hearts

    Credit: Elena Prozhivina – Shutterstock

    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 outlandish), but you're over 500 times more likely to date a supermodel than you are to win the lottery.

  2. Repaying your Student Loan in full

    Chance of happening: 1 in 6

    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 83% (roughly 5 in 6) of students on a Plan 2 loan will never pay back the full amount, meaning that you've only got a one in six chance of clearing your debt.

    While this is still about 7.5 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.

  3. Becoming a saint

    Chance of happening: 1 in 20 million

    Ok, Student Finance-related stats over. Now it's time to go big or go home.

    The odds of you being canonised (the official term for being made a saint by the Pope) are a massive 20 million to one, which we can all agree is pretty unachievable unless you behave like... well, a saint.

    But compare it to your odds of winning the lottery and you're still more than twice as likely to be made a saint as you are to bag the jackpot.

  4. Being struck by lightning

    bolt of lightning in sky

    Chance of happening: 1 in 1 million

    If you knew that you were 45 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 1 million. Shocking stuff, eh?

  5. Winning one of our competitions

    Chance of happening: a lot more likely than winning the lottery

    We can't give you your exact odds of winning one of our amazing competitions, as it all depends on how many people enter.

    However, we can say with some confidence that fewer than 45 million people will take part in each one – so you're already more likely to win with us than on the lottery.

    And that's before you even consider that we're often running more than one competition at a time, so there are more chances to win. Make sure to keep an eye on our Instagram for exclusive competitions.

    But even if you don't win a Save the Student contest, you're not all out of luck. Our guide on how to win competitions is full of tips and tricks, including the best places to look for more prize draws – all of which are almost certainly a better use of your time than entering the lottery!

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

    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 so 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...).

  7. Winning an Oscar

    Chance of happening: 1 in 11,500

    While it's surprisingly easy (and lucrative) to become an extra, packing in uni and becoming a Hollywood megastar is considerably harder – but not impossible.

    Your chances of winning an Academy Award are a relatively small 1 in 11,500, but that's still almost 4,000 times more likely than winning the lottery.

    Of course, these awards aren't just handed out to actors, and these odds take into account all the accolades on offer, including costume design and makeup. But it's an impressive achievement nonetheless!

    As it happens, bagging an Oscar is also more than twice as unlikely as Leicester City's similarly cinematic Premier League triumph in 2016 – a 5,000/1 feat which was, in itself, 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.

  8. Having identical quadruplets

    identical quadruplets stood together

    Credit: Gelpi - Shutterstock

    Chance of happening: 1 in 15 million

    Most of us will know a pair of twins. But fewer of us know a set of identical twins. Fewer of us still know of any triplets.

    And we'd be prepared to wager that not a single one of you have ever come across quadruplets before – let alone identical ones.

    But your odds of having your very own set of identical quadruplets are 1 in 15 million – still three times as likely as you winning the lottery.

    Did you know that free lotteries often give you a much higher chance of winning? Our favourites include Pick My Postcode, Freemoji Lottery and the Free Birthday Lottery.
  9. Finding a four-leaf clover

    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 finding this rarest of plants in the first place are a minuscule 1 in 10,000.

    That said, you're still 4,500 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, you're probably better off putting that energy towards trying to get a first.

  10. Becoming an astronaut

    astronauts in space over earth

    Chance of happening: 1 in 1,200 

    Apparently, your chances of becoming an astronaut aren't one in infinite and beyond – but they're not far off.

    1 in 1,200 makes it pretty hard as the acceptance rate for one astronaut position at NASA is low. 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 graduate prospects.

    Unfortunately, no amount of hard work and brains will help you win the lottery, as it's still about 40,000 times less likely than you taking one small step for man.

  11. Being crushed by a meteor

    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 The Simpsons, when Bart spots a comet and everyone thinks it'll end the world).

    But every now and then an absolute whopper 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 64 times more likely to happen than you winning the lottery. Bad times.

  12. Becoming an Olympic athlete

    Chance of happening: 1 in 500,000

    When you account for the hard work, natural talent and sheer determination required to rise to the top at any given sport, it's perhaps not a huge surprise that your chances of becoming an Olympic athlete are just 1 in 500,000.

    Nonetheless, joining the Olympics is still about 90 times more likely than winning the lottery. So, hitting the university gym in search of global success is still more sensible than trying to win millions.

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 on just £10 for a whole week.

Tom Allingham

WRITTEN BY Tom Allingham

Tom joined Save the Student in 2017, initially heading up the editorial team before becoming Communications Director. He has appeared as a Student Finance expert on a range of TV and radio stations including the BBC, ITV and Sky, sharing his top tips for saving money and cutting student bills.
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