You probably know that the odds of you hitting a substantial lottery winner are definitely stacked against you. But what exactly are your odds of winning a major lottery jackpot when you play one of the more popular lotteries like Powerball? If you have ever been to a physical lottery retail outlet to purchase tickets, you can simply look at your lottery slip and it will explain the odds you are facing. This information is also available specifically for USA lottery games, as well as the websites maintained by international lotteries around the world.

Suffice it to say that the reason why lotteries pay so much money is because it is very difficult to win them. However, there are things you can do to improve your odds, and maybe you will be as “lucky” as the Stanford University statistics PhD holder who has cashed in for more than $21 million since she began winning in 1993. Joan Ginther holds a PhD in number-crunching, is now 65 years of age, and she has used her knowledge of numbers to hit 4 major lottery jackpots in 18 years. Since Powerball is shared by 45 lotteries, jackpot totals are in many cases astronomical. So are the odds against hitting, but let’s take a look and see the exact kind of numbers we are talking about.

On May 18, 2013, 84-year-old Gloria C. MacKenzie cashed a single ticket and chose the single payment cash option, instantly netting her $371 million. Currently with a total of six Powerball grand prize winners, Florida leads all states or jurisdictions in that regard. And a jackpot of $365 million was hit by eight people who pooled their resources in Nebraska in 2006. That Nebraska victory displays the easiest way to improve your odds when playing any lottery, and that is by joining a syndicate. A syndicate is merely a group of people who decide and agree to pool their lottery ticket purchasing power together, and then split any winnings that any of them make on any individual tickets.

This option is available online, as Internet lottery sales in the United States now have the full blessing of the US Department of Justice. But when you are playing the Powerball you must understand that you have a fairly decent chance of winning something with each ticket you purchase. The odds of winning by matching just the Powerball are 1 in 55.1, so while the odds are against you, that is not such an astronomical probability of occurrence. Let us look at the other end of the spectrum, matching all five numbers plus the Powerball number. The odds are 175,223,509 to 1 against you becoming the next Powerball multimillionaire.

However, the Powerball jackpot is never less than $40 million, and consistently delivers more than $200 million to those Powerball players holding a jackpot winning ticket. Most lotteries offer similarly difficult odds, but if you look hard enough you can find some real bargains. The Irish Lotto jackpot has only 45 numbers to pick from, making it a full 42% easier to win than the equivalent UK Lotto jackpot. And 1 in every 28 tickets is a winner in the Irish Lotto, with a single ticket purchased in a special lottery like the Spanish Lotto offering up to 15 different ways to win. And if you like Powerball, try the Australian version. Australia Powerball offers better odds of winning than the US Powerball lottery, at just 76,767,599 to 1 against you hitting the Powerball jackpot. However, the Australia Powerball pays out on eight different levels, and you can win a cash prize by matching just three numbers. Knowing your odds gives you a better chance of winning the lottery when you play, so do your research, buy your ticket, and good luck in your next lottery jackpot drawing.