The Mega Millions jackpot is half a billion dollars. A cool half-billion. You could use that money, eh? Buy your castle and everything. Have you bought your Mega Millions ticket yet? Well, don't.

Here we will pass along to you something that you already know: you are not going to win the lottery. Your lucky numbers are not going to hit. Your quick pick is not going to be special winner. Your investment in lottery tickets is not going to pay off. How can we say this with such confidence? The same reason I can say "you are not sitting next to me right now." Because the chance that we are wrong about this is so infinitesimally small as to be meaningless for all practical purposes.

Envision a beach full of sand. Then we tell you, "Pick up the one grain of sand I'm thinking of, or I will kill you." What would you do? Probably call the police. And rightly so, because you know that your chance of selecting a single correct grain of sand on an entire beach is virtually impossible, and also, who but a crazy person goes around saying things like that, to people? This is what mathematicians call "A metaphor for the lottery." Your chances of hitting the Mega Millions are 176 million to one. That means that you will not hit the Mega Millions.