# Are the chances of dying on the way to get lottery tickets larger than the chance of winning?

I encountered the following claim:

• The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning

Of course, whether is is true depends on the lottery, on the demographics of participants in the lottery, on their method of transportation, the duration of transportation, and probably on other factors as well. However, if we take into account the age distribution of lottery participants, their method of transportation to the lottery, and statistics on the chance of winning the lottery (let's say a reasonably big prize), considering a developed, urbanised country, can we make any estimates whether this claim could be remotely true?

Related question (which actually includes a similar claim in the question):

• Also depends what you mean by "winning the lottery". Do you only count the jackpot or lesser winnings too? Oct 4, 2012 at 10:09
• True, it of course depends on that as well. Hence "let's say a reasonably big prize". Oct 4, 2012 at 12:15

This looks to be plausible, at least for the UK National Lottery Jackpot.

The chances of winning the Jackpot in the UK National Lottery are 1 in 13,983,815. The chances of dying on the way depends on the length of journey and the transport used. Number of Deaths for various forms of transport are listed in Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: annual report 2011 along with the number of miles travelled using that form of transport:

• Cycling - 107 deaths in 3.1 billion miles (1 death every 29 million miles)
• Motorcycling - 362 deaths in 2.9 billion miles (1 death every 8.0 million miles)
• Driving Car - 613 deaths in 241 billion miles (1 death every 393 million miles)

If your journey exceeds the following lengths, then you are more likely to die than win:

• Cycling - 2.1 miles
• Motorcycling - 0.57 miles
• Driving - 28 miles
• To be fair, most (if not all) people drive less than that to buy their lottery ticket, except maybe the motorcyclist. Oct 4, 2012 at 13:22
• This takes into account only accidental death. just based off of a 365.24 day year and an 80 year potential life span you have statistically 1:29219 chance of dying on any given day. If you take into account you have to be 18 to buy a ticket it leaves a 62 year span for potential death which brings it to 1:22645