Lotto Powerball - what are the odds?

The Lotto balls (iStock)
The Lotto balls (iStock)

Thinking about winning this weekend's $38 million jackpot? Chances are you probably won't, unless you're lucky - very lucky.

So, what are the odds of this happening?

In order to win, you have to beat the one in 38,383,800 odds per play.

It's so unlikely, there's several other uncommon occurrences that are more likely to happen.

Lightning strike

You're more likely to get struck by lightning than win the Powerball. The odds of being hit by lightning are one in 280,000 in a year. But there's good news. The chances of dying from this a far higher - but still not as high as winning Lotto.

Road crash

"If you buy five lines of Powerball in a week, you're actually 10 times more likely to die in a road crash in that same week," Auckland University statistics professor Russell Millar says. Considering New Zealand's road toll, this isn't a comforting thought.

Shark attack

While Jaws might rule our imaginations, the reality is a lot better. The chances of being attacked are a mere one in 11.5 million, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Where to buy

But you've got to be in it to win it, right? That's what all the other ticket holders are telling themselves.

Not even the chief executive of Lotto knows exactly how many other players you're up against - but you never know.

And if you're looking for a share of next week's historic jackpot, Lotto has compiled a list of the luckiest regions around the country from 2016.

Nineteen first division winning tickets were sold in Manukau in south Auckland, 15 in Christchurch and 12 in the Auckland CBD area.

Top prize winners are not just limited to the major centres, with Southland coming in fifth-equal with Lower Hutt, and the Manawatu region in the lower North Island placing seventh alongside Tauranga, Waikato and Dunedin.

In addition, one of the biggest wins this year - at over $22 million - came from Ashburton, which has only had two first division winners this year so far.

So, if you're looking to become New Zealand's next multi-millionaire, perhaps a trip to one of these top centres might be in need before the next Powerball draw.