it says 3.002386749640418E-6 on getting into Harvard, which actually means you have a .000003 chance if getting accepted.

That sucks! You probably have a better probability of getting struck by lightning while winning the lottery.

Probably not. .000003 is 3/1,000,000 (unless I can't count, which is possible).

3/million = 1/333,333, give or take.

The chance to win powerball, getting all 6 balls correct, is 1 in 2,939,677. (we won't even get into how tough the odds are on getting all 6 balls AND the powerball. Its over 100 million to one).

Something like 100 people get struck by lightning in the US every year. (91 in 1996, to cite a random year). If you figure the US population at roughly 300 million, that means that there is about a 1/3,000,000 chance that you get hit by lightning in a given year.

In other words, if you enter the lottery once a year, your chances of winning are about the same as getting hit by lightning that year.

Lets define "at the same time" as happening in the same minute. There are 525,600 minutes in every year. If my math is correct, there is therefore a 1/1,576,800,000,000 chance of getting hit by lightning in the US in a given minute. (about 1/1.5 TRILLION).

Now, if, in any given minute, you are struck by lightning, fate has given you a ONE TIME ONLY opportunity to go for the jackpot and win the lottery at the same time. The drawing is daily, so we first have to calculate the probability that your state even has a drawing when you get hit. It's 1/1,440 (that many minutes in the day). That knocks the chances up to 2.16 Quadrillion to one.

Now you've been hit by lightning just as the buxom bimbo is pulling out the ping-pong balls. Your ticket, assuming it hasn't caught fire, COULD BE A WINNER. The chances of that are, as we have seen, about 1/3 million.

6.48*10^21, or 6.48 Septillon to one.

Clearly harder than being admitted to Harvard with any stats, according to Chiashu. But wait, there's more. We're assuming that the events here are random. For admission to Harvard, or, indeed, anywhere, things are NOT random. In fact, arguably, as chances of admission approach zero, they in fact become more likely to BE zero. There is some minimum set of qualifications required to even be considered, so long as you rule out admission by mistake or the kind of legacy that would get an ill-trained chimp with palsy into Yale.

So, after all, I think you're right - it probably is easier to get hit by lightning and win the lottery.

(I'm sure there are plenty of math errors - have fun finding them)