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What are your chances of winning the Mega Millions lottery?

Friday, Mar. 30 | By Staff
The Warrenton Sunoco sold a winning $100,000 ticket to a Amissville man within the past year, and also boasts two walls covered with winning scratch-off tickets.Photo by Randy Litzinger
As you stand in line at your favorite gas station or convenience store to buy a chance for tonight's $540 million Mega Millions lottery, consider the following:

According to the Associated Press, you have 50 times greater chance of getting struck by lightening than being the lucky winner out of approximately 176 million lottery ticket buyers today.

You're also about 8,000 times more likely to get murdered than win the jackpot, and you're 20,000 times more likely to die in a car crash than win.

A golfer has about 19 times greater chance of hitting two holes in one in a row in the same golf game than winning the lottery.

If that doesn't depress you, consider, that if you bought all 176 million possible combinations of the six lottery numbers, you'd only win about $117 million, or $59 million less than what you spent to win.

Also, should you actually hit the $540 million jackpot, the lump sum payment is only $390 million. Taxes would whittle down that sum to a mere $293 million.

Winners in Virginia will pay a 4 percent tax on their winnings on top of the 25 percent federal tax.

Virginia Lottery officials say the that during the run up to the previous jackpot of $390 million in March 2007, lottery merchants sold 10,500 tickets per minute.

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