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Bizarre Death More Likely Than Winning Mega Millions

15 May 2002

OHIO – As reported by the Ohio News Herald: "In the Lotto world, there are players, and there are players with a capital P.

"Players are casual, plunking down a buck or two when the jackpot gets fat.

"…The big players are serious. There are systems to buy and buy into, games to avoid, numbers to crunch. For some, it's a mix of science and luck, the cold logic of numbers, and the firm belief that daughter Jenny's birthday will get hot one of these days.

"The odds for both types of players aren't spectacular. In general, the odds for winning many lotteries are significantly higher than dying in a bizarre and unfortunate manner.

"Take the new Mega Millions lottery, for example. The odds of winning Ohio's newest lottery jackpot are 1 in 135,145,920. According to investigative author James Walsh, someone who buys a ticket has a better shot at dying from flesh-eating bacteria (1 in 1 million), being hit by lightning (1 in 30,000), suffering heart disease from eating a broiled steak a week (1 in 48,000), or being killed by terrorists while traveling abroad (1 in 650,000).

"…Gail Howard, a woman with seven international best-selling lottery books and a lottery system to her credit, said the odds of winning Ohio's newest game could be a lot better.

"…`Buckeye 5 is the best game anyone could play.'

"…`The odds of winning the jackpot are 435,897 to 1. That's a good game; that's what I would recommend. The Mega Millions game - now that's all together different.

"`That has the worst odds of any lottery game in the world. (Mega Millions officials) increased the odds when they brought Ohio and New York aboard.

"…`Jackpot games are attractive because many people want to be part of the hype,"'Howard said.

"…`Really, the whole thing was started by the media,' she added. `People got excited about big jackpots. ... Now, lottery officials want people to keep playing, and they believe the only way to maintain the frenzy is to make bigger and bigger jackpots.'

"Howard isn't suggesting Ohioans shouldn't play Mega Millions; she only suggests to spend what the game deserves - a dollar…"

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