Powerball: Winning Tickets for Jackpot Sold in Arizona and Missouri

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Skip Garibaldi, a professor of mathematics at Emory University in Atlanta, provided additional perspective: You are three times more likely to die from a falling coconut, he said; seven times more likely to die from fireworks, "and way more likely to die from flesh-eating bacteria" (115 fatalities a year) than you are to win the Powerball lottery.

Segueing, then, from death to life, Garibaldi noted that even the best physicians, equipped with the most up-to-date equipment, can't predict the timing of a child's birth with much accuracy.

"But let's suppose," he said, "that your doctor managed to predict the day, the hour, the minute and the second your baby would be born."

The doctor's uncanny prediction would be "at least 100 times" more likely than your winning.

Even though he knows the odds all too well, Garibaldi said he usually plays the lottery.

When it gets this big, I'll buy a couple of tickets," he said. "It's kind of exciting. You get this feeling of anticipation. You get to think about the fantasy."

So, did he buy two tickets this time?

"I couldn't," he told ABC News. "I'm in California" -- one of eight states that doesn't offer Powerball.

In case you were wondering, this Saturday's Powerball jackpot is starting at $40 million.

ABC News Radio contributed to this report.

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