Mathematician shares odds of winning Powerball jackpot

Mathematician shares odds of winning Powerball jackpot

(WMC-TV) – Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot is now at $550 million and still growing. Is there a secret to picking the right numbers and striking it rich?

A doctor in Baton Rouge found the most frequently drawn Powerball number is 20. The most popular of the rest is 42. But even so, every number has an equal chance of popping up.

People like Kenneth Koleini are buying tickets with groups of people. The money he gets for the Powerball tickets comes from everybody in his office.

"There's 15 of us," he said. "We already decided how much everybody will take. It's going to be $20 to $25 million for each of us."

Dr. Jerry Goldstein is a mathematician at the University of Memphis, using high school multiplication and division, he found 175,223,510 different possible combinations of lottery numbers.

So the odds of hitting the jackpot?

"Very minuscule," said Dr. Goldstein. "Similar to taking a few steps in Memphis and falling into the Pacific Ocean."

Those are a few steps Delores Townsend is not willing to take.

"I'd end up giving it all away," she said.

She said no amount of money, not even half of a billion dollars, can buy what she already has.

"My health, a reasonable portion of my health. My family, got a place to stay, I don't need it," said Townsend.

Regardless of how unlikely winning the $550 million jackpot might be, it is not stopping people from buying tickets – and making plans for the winnings.

Tickets can be bought in Tennessee and Arkansas until 9 p.m.

Where did you buy your ticket?  Click here to see how much you would take home if you won depending on which state you bought your Powerball ticket in.

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