Friday, July 18, 2008

What are the Odds?

What Are the Odds?
By: Natalie Josef (View Profile)

About one out of every three people in the United States thinks that winning the lottery is the only way to become financially secure. But the odds of winning a single state lottery are about 18 million to 1.

That’s why I laugh at my friends who buy lottery tickets—to me, it’s just throwing money away. The likelihood you’ll be killed by lightning is roughly 2,650,000 to 1—a lot more likely than winning the lottery.

Have you ever wondered how the odds stack up against each other? For instance, did you know that your odds of winning an Olympic medal are roughly the same as drowning in the bathtub? Check out these odds:

Odds of dying from a dog bite: 1 in 20 million

Odds of becoming a saint: 1 in 20 million

Odds of becoming president: 1 in 10,000,000

Odds of dying from parts falling off an airplane: 1 in 10,000,000

Odds you will be injured by a toilet this year: 1 in 10,000

Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on the first try: 1 in 10,000

Odds of spotting a UFO today: 1 in 3,000,000

Odds of dying from food poisoning: 1 in 3,000,000

Odds of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000

Odds of dying from Measles: 1 in 300,000,000

Odds of a child being in a fatal automobile accident: 1 in 23,000

Odds of being wrongly declared dead by a Social Security data entry mistake: 1 in 23,483

Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 1 in 220

Odds of dating a millionaire: 1 in 215

Odds of getting AIDS from heterosexual sex without using a condom: 1 in 5,000,000

Odds of dying from contact with hot tap water: 1 in 5,005,564

Odds of winning an Academy Award: 1 in 11,500

Odds of bowling a 300 game: 1 in 11,500

Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 1 in 4464

Odds of dying on a bicycle: 1 in 4472

Odds of being murdered: 1 in 18,000

Odds of dying in a car accident: 1 in 18,585

Odds of getting arthritis: 1 in 7

Odds you don’t have health insurance: 1 in 7

Odds of dying from heart disease: 1 in 3

Odds of an American woman developing cancer in her lifetime: 1 in 3

Odds that you will die from the collision of an asteroid hitting the earth in the next one hundred
years: 1 in 500,000

Odds of a non-felon being murdered with a gun: 1 in 500,000

Odds of being in a plane crash: 1 in 500,000

I think we need to keep things in perspective and ignore the commercials that tell you to start dreaming about the millions you’re going to win in the lottery. Actually, just ignore TV altogether. While they’re busy recalling every vegetable for fear of salmonella, no one is mentioning the fact that you’re more likely to die of appendicitis than salmonella. How many people do you know who’ve died from appendicitis? The moral here? Eat your vegetables and don’t play the lottery.

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