Is lady luck in your corner when it comes to the lotto?

Hitting the lotto is a dream of many people, but is lady luck on a player's side?

New cars, new houses, new boats, and yes financial security could be yours for a dollar, if a player can pick the right numbers and hit a lottery jackpot. But the odds are against a player and for drawings like the Mega Millions; a player's chances of winning the jackpot are about one in 176,000,000.

How are the odds figured? First a player has to pick five numbers out of 56 correctly. The odds of picking the first one are five out of 56. If the player gets that right then a player have a four out of 55 chance of picking the second. The third ball has a three out of fifty four chance. And so onâ|A player's chance of picking five balls out of 56 is one in just over 3,800,000. Then a player also must pick the Mega Ball from a different set of 46 balls! The over all chance of matching all six balls is a daunting near 176,000,000! 176,000,000-to-one is an incredibly small number and tough to comprehend so here are some other examples of very long odds:

A player have a better chance of flipping a coin and having 27 heads or tails in a row than winning the mega millions. A player can try that at home and a player may get 27 in a row once if a player flips it about 130,000,000 times.

Or let's take 176,000,000 paper clips stretch them end to end. They would span about the distance from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington. If a player were able to pick the right clip in the chain a player win!

We all know what a dollar looks like; well 100 dollars would make a stack of .43 inches. 1000 dollars would be 4.3 inches tall and 10,000 dollars would stand 4.3 feet tall, 100,000 would be 10 of those stacks and one million dollars would fill two pallets. 176 million would look like this! Picking the right dollar bill hidden in all of these would be like winning the mega millions.

So while the odds of winning are statistically very very close to zero, but it isn't actually zero!

Statistically, it makes no difference if a player use quick pick or pick a player's own numbers. In fact if a player were to pick the numbers one through five for the white balls and the number 6 for the mega ball a player would have the same odds as any other combination. But if luck is on a player's side and a player do win a jackpot a player would have to pay close to 39.6 percent in federal taxes. Add state and local taxes, and a player might end up with only half of a player's winnings when a player is done paying taxes. For example, if opting for the lump sum prize in a $10 million lottery, the prize would be about $5 million dollars. After federal and state taxes, a player would be left with about $2.5 million. There are plenty of lavish and extravagant things a player could afford if they won a big prize. But what if a player just took the money and put it into a savings account? Let's say a player win a prize that nets a player after taxes 10 million dollars. A player could put that in an account that compound monthly at a modest rate of 4 percent and see returns that could allow a player to just live off the interest without ever touching the principal. Now chances are a player won't hit a jackpot for millions of dollars but if a player do winning may not be all its cracked up to be.

Dr. Cheryl Kaiser of Insight Psychotherapy says "well, of course, we all like to think that if we won a major lottery, that it would be the best day of our lives. But you know some people find that's it not the best day of their lives. Sometimes they find that they lose their friends. They lose their anonymity they have people coming out of the woodwork looking for them to do favors for them or give them money or take care of their problems. And it can be a little more of a burden than many people expect."

So if you're going to play the lottery, know that a 1 in 176,000,000 chance isn't that much different than 100 chances in 176,000,000, so maybe just play that dollar. And if you happen to win, be ready for major changes good and bad that it could mean for your life. I'll keep playing my dollar occasionally and if you happen to win, I'll be here incase you want to share your newly found wealth.