Chance of winning both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots: 1 in 88 quadrillion

Posted at 8:34 AM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 11:34:58-05

Both the Mega Millions lottery and the Powerball lottery have grand jackpots right now, and a person's chances of winning them are massively small.

If the chance of winning either game is ridiculous, the chance of winning both is ridiculous on steroids — 1 in 88 quadrillion, or 1 in 88,412,922,115,183,000 to be precise.

If you're one of those people who do better with percentages: You have a 0.0000000000000011% chance of winning both games.

But the longer odds haven't been stopping people from buying tickets. In fact, the larger jackpots are just encouraging more sales. And Americans do love buying lottery tickets. They spent more than $80 billion on them in 2016.

That's more than they spent on movies, video games, music, sports tickets and books -- combined.

The Powerball stands at $440 million and will be drawn tonight. Its the 12th largest jackpot prize in U.S. history, and the 9th largest Powerball.

The $361 million Mega Millions jackpot will grow to $418 million for Friday's drawing.

The combined total between the two games is one of the largest combined payouts on record. It's also the first time both games have had $400 million jackpots at the same time.

Both games offering prizes more than $300 million at the same time has been rare in the past. But it's about to become more common. That's because there are now longer odds in both games, leading to less frequent jackpot winners and thus more frequent large jackpots.

The Mega Millions jackpot hasn't risen above $400 million since the summer of 2016, according to the lottery, when a winner in Indiana received a $536 million prize.