The Mega Millions lottery is once again making headlines with a current jackpot of $1.28 billion. Its the sort of thing that makes you want to daydream about winning in the middle of scrolling TikTok and forgetting your boss, because of course you will not win it. These jackpots are the real world equivalent of a loot box, except the odds are 1,000 times worse.
Sometimes the numbers are so great they stop meaning anything. This year, a Pokemon-inspired NFT game was hacked for over $500 million in cryptocurrency. There's a telescope a million miles from Earth taking pictures of a gas giant 1,000 light years away. Super Mario World is one billion seconds old today. And then there's the Mega Millions jackpot, which is already the third-largest in state lottery history.
If you paid the whole sum, you'd earn $1,471,264 every two weeks for 29 years, or roughly $747 million minus taxes. That's less than 1% of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' net worth, but it would have been enough to purchase Eidos Montreal from Square Enix and make them release a new Deus Ex. The odds of that happening, however, are always in your favor.
To be more specific, they are currently one in 303 million. Again, figures that big are difficult to make sense of, but lets try. Heres a bunch of extremely rare stuff in video games that will happen before you ever buy a winning lottery ticket.
Despite what appears to be an impossible task, some players have a good chance of getting it on their first try.
The price of the Oculus Quest 2 (formerly known as the Meta Quest 2) will be increased starting August 1 by All-in-One VR Meta. If you have ever considered becoming a VR enthusiast, now is the time to do so.
Earthbound has a better chance of getting the Sword of Kings the first time you kill a Starman Super than winning this lottery three times in a row. It has a drop rate of one in 128. I have played the game a dozen times but only once.
The odds of getting Genshin Impacts 5-Star Pyro Diluc are also better. The rare fan-favorite has a roughly 1-in-166 drop rate, in fact, most games with gacha mechanics are extremely generous by comparison. Each pull in Genshin Impact costs only slightly more than a $2 Mega Millions ticket.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Princess Peach is more likely to take a Beam Sword out of her pocket. That's one in 768. If she immediately took out a second one, you'd still win the Mega Millions.
The Big Love Rocket, which was renamed the X-45 Heartbreaker last year, is one of World of Warcraft's most famously rare mounts. During the 2006 Love is in the Air event, players estimated it to be much rarer, with a one in 3,333 chance of falling.
Shiny Pokemon hunters are known for spending days, weeks, and sometimes even longer hunting for the rarest creatures. Even thats a cake walk by comparison. Shiny odds are one in 4,096. Some players speculate about getting two back-to-back. The odds of that would be greater.
Lets talk about Pokemon for a second. Before the Pokemon trading card game began in 1996 there were only four rarities, including foils. Now there are all sorts of other layers of uniqueness, including, as an example, the Astral Radiance set that was released earlier this year. The odds of getting a Secret Rare card in a given pack, like Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, are estimated at one in 1,178.
The most common lottery wager is getting struck by lightning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that those odds are less than one in a million. However, the odds of being struck by lightning inside Minecraft are even greater. In a map with 16,384 blocks and a one in 5,000 probability of lightning striking a player during a storm, there's a terrifyingly low one in 81 million of lightning striking the player.
The next Mega Millions drawing will take place tonight at 11:oo p.m. ET. There are over 100 million households in the United States, and some will certainly buy dozens of tickets, if not more. And their odds are still better than finding one of the rarest items in Borderlands.