Lotto chance of 76.7m to 1

EVER dream about winning that upcoming $30 million lotto jackpot?

There's nothing like a hyped-up lottery to get you in the mood for retiring rich, and perhaps finally buying that dream home.

But have you ever asked just how likely you are to win the thing?

What are the chances your $2 investment will offer a decent return?

Southern Cross University statistics lecturer Dr Nicola Jayne has confirmed it's not just improbable, but almost impossible.

Winning the first six numbers in the oft-jackpotting Powerball is already an unlikely one in 3.8 million, but it's nailing the key seventh number - the Powerball - that lengthens the odds to one in 76.7 million.

And Dr Jayne said she rarely forked out the small change for a lotto ticket.

"The concept of probability is something we as humans don't deal with well," Dr Jayne said.

"We understand a toss of the coin, but when you get into the millions it becomes impossible to comprehend."

And Dr Jayne said buying a few more tickets didn't help, because the difference between one in 76 million and ten in 76 million was miniscule.

And watch out when the jackpots reach higher figures: because there are also more people buying tickets, so you may need to share it.

Dr Jayne said people tended to make silly decisions when it came to unlikely events.

"People will buy lottery tickets and think they are going to win with those very low odds, and then won't fly planes because they think it's too dangerous."

According to Google, the odds of dying in a plane crash are 11 million to one.

So are lotteries the biggest racket on the planet?

"Remember they're designed to make money," Dr Jayne advised.

"There's a bit of escapism, a bit of fantasy, and that's about it.

"It's more when people are thinking it's going to solve their problems it becomes an issue."

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