Tag: probability

Is the Probability of winning Box Tops for Education Sweepstakes Higher than Winning a Lottery?


Lottery vs. Box Tops for Education Sweepstakes
Why you should enter?  Let’s do a probability comparison winning a lottery vs. winning the sweepstakes.


  • Lottery winning must be greater than what a school can raise by doing Box Tops clipping.  (greater than $500).
  • Lottery: 5 of 6 must match, a winning of approximately ~$3,500.

The probably of matching 5 of 6 numbers on a lottery is 0.001%. (source)


  • 35.6 million and  5.6 million students from public and private schools, respectively (source, prekindergarten to 8th). 4 million students are in preschool (source). Subtract the 4 million from the subtotal, and you get 37.2 million students from prekindergarten to 8th grade in the US.
    • 50% of schools participate in Box Tops for Education
    • 1 parent-student enters the sweepstake
    • 18.6 million parent-students=(37.2 million /2)
    • Use 20-60-20 rule: top 20% actively participate, 60% casually participate, and 20% no participation.
    • Hence, let’s assume 50% of the student-parent participation (this is optimistic)
    • Therefore: The total parent-student participate in the US is approximately 9.3 million =(18.6 million /2)
    • # of Sweepstake winning: 519 (source)

The math
((519 winning) / (9.3 million parent-student) x 100%)= 0.0056%

Assume now that there are 225 students in your school.  So multiply 0.0056% with 225, and this gives you 1.3%!


  • 0.0056% chance that 1 person may win a sweepstake
  • 1.3% chance that someone in your school wins a sweepstake!!

In conclusion, there is a higher chance of winning the Box Tops for Education sweepstake than matching 5 of 6 number on a lottery.  The probability of your school winning a sweepstake goes up if more parents-students participate.  It’s very simple to sign up for Box Tops for Education and enter the sweepstakes.  It takes about 5 minutes. So why not do it, for your school and your children.