The Mega Millions jackpot is huge this week — an estimated $468 million as of this writing, according to lottery officials — with a cash option worth around $316 million. Combine that with a Powerball jackpot estimated at $201 million (or $137 million for the cash option) and Americans have a “chance” to win more than $784 million this week.
But according to mathematicians, it is far more likely for any one person to die from an asteroid strike, get struck by lightning, or become president than to actually win.
To make the odds even more one-sided, lottery officials have changed the rules to make it even harder to win the big bucks. According to the Washington Post, the formulas for the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots have been tweaked so that more people — even skeptics — buy tickets. While that means more people may win smaller prizes, fewer people have a chance to become millionaires.
So if you want to have a million dollars, but you don’t win the lottery, what should you do?
Bet on Yourself To Hit That Winning Number
Since the odds are so incredibly low that any of us would win the lottery, why not bet on yourself and make a plan to ensure you hit that number, instead of relying on the game of chance?
The average working person earning $56,310 per year and working over the course of 40 years will earn $2.2 million throughout his or her lifetime. That’s the annual mean salary of the American worker in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Obviously, you won’t actually be able to save all that money — you still need a place to live and you still need to eat. So how do you actually make it to millionaire status?
Compound Interest Is Your Friend
Even though you may not be able to stash away your entire salary, compound interest — plus time — is definitely your friend when it comes to investment and retirement.
The reality is, if you control your spending, invest correctly, and keep it up consistently over time, you’ll have a nearly 100% chance of hitting that $1 million mark over the course of your lifetime. And you don’t even have to play the lottery to get there — you just need a little planning, diligence, and the will to keep saving over time.