Other | Jun 16, 2023

What are the odds?

By Harry Bazley

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Life is an adventure filled with unexpected moments and unique experiences that we all go through at some point in our lives. But have you ever wondered about the chances of the most random and shocking events actually happening to you?

From being struck by lightning to becoming an astronaut, let's dive into the world of probabilities and uncover the likelihood of these events occurring.

Being struck by lightning: Less than 1 in a million

As you might have guessed, getting struck by lightning isn't exactly common, but the chances are still higher than I thought!

About 40 million lightning strikes hit the ground in the United States each year. But the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than one in a million, and almost 90% of all lightning strike victims survive. The odds of being struck multiple times is even less, with the record being seven times in one lifetime.

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

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Becoming a billionaire: 1 in 3,622,124

In America, there are just a little over 500 billionaires. This means that your chances of becoming one are around one in 578,508. When we look worldwide at the 7.4 billion people, there are 2,043 billionaires, making the global odds of becoming a billionaire just 1 in 3,622,124! Good luck folks!

Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 3,748,067

Shark attacks often make headlines and grab our attention, but the truth is they are extremely rare. According to the International Shark Attack File, the chances of experiencing a shark attack are very slim. This information comes from the National Safety Council, which highlights that shark bites are even less common than encounters with these stinging insects.

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Winning the lottery: 1 in 300,000

In the Powerball game, your odds of winning any prize are about 1 in 38. That means there's a chance, although not a great one. However, when it comes to winning the big jackpot, the odds get much slimmer. Your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are a staggering 1 in 292.2 million.

Now, let's talk about the Mega Millions game. The odds of winning the jackpot in Mega Millions are even worse compared to Powerball, at about 1 in 302.6 million.

So, if you're hoping to win the lottery, it's important to keep in mind that the odds are stacked against you. It's more about luck than maths, and the chances of winning the big jackpot are incredibly slim. But hey, you never know - someone has to win, right?

Living to 100: 1 in 12,000

According to the United Nations' estimate in 2021, there were about 573,000 people aged 100 or older globally. In the United States, there were around 97,000 people in their 100s during that same period. Interestingly, women have a much better chance of living to 100 compared to men, as they make up more than 80% of all centenarians.

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Becoming an astronaut: 1 in 1,800

If you grew up with a dream of becoming an astronaut, we have some disappointing news. In 2016, when NASA opened applications for the first time since 2011, about 18,300 people applied. However, only 10 lucky individuals were selected from that group for the 2017 training class...

Being dealt a royal flush: 1 in 650,000

A royal flush is the most powerful hand in poker. It is made up of a 10, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit in your hand. The chances of getting a royal flush are extremely low, with only a 0.00015% probability of being dealt one. In a regular five-card game of poker, there are 2.6 million possible hand combinations, but only four of them can be a royal flush - one for each suit. This simplifies to 1 in 650,000.

So, there you have it! The odds of some of the most unlikely events in the world, and it turns out that you're more likely to get struck by lightning than be attacked by a shark. In any case, I'll be holding out for that 1 in 3,622,124 chance of becoming a billionaire!