What are the chances?

Think you might win the lottery some day? We’re not saying you won’t hit the jackpot, but statistically speaking, the following six things are more likely to happen. First, we had better start with a clarification: your odds of winning a regular Saturday draw that involves picking all six numbers from a barrel containing 45 numbers is one in eight million. However, winning Oz Lotto on Tuesday night requires selecting seven numbers from the same barrel of 45 numbers, which reduces your chances to one in 45 million. For the purposes of accuracy, we’ll be limiting our discussion to things more likely than winning Oz Lotto.

1. Dying in a plane crash

Are you afraid of flying? Despite depictions of plane crashes in big-budget Hollywood films, flying is actually the safest mode of transportation. In fact, the odds of a plane crash are one for every 1.2 million flights, with odds of dying one in 11 million, much smaller than your chance of winning Oz Lotto. We are not sure that will help you overcome your fear, but at least now you have an excuse for your phobia.

2. Being hit by an asteroid

This should make you feel a little bit better about your fear of flying. The chances of being struck dead by an asteroid falling from space are one in 1.6 million.  If you are not worried about this happening, you definitely should not be worried about flying.

3. Being struck by lightning

It isn’t the asteroids you need to worry about, though, it’s lightning. Each year in Australia, more than 100 people are injured by lightning strikes, with five to 10 people dying from their injuries. The odds of a person being struck by lightning are one in 700,000. That’s assuming you aren’t trying to play golf during a storm and tempting fate.

4. Finding a four-leaf clover

If you feel like the reason you haven’t hit the jackpot yet is because you need a luck booster, perhaps you’d like to go searching for a four-leaf clover. Your chances of discovering the lucky plant are one in 10,000. As any mathematician will tell you, though, your chances of discovering a four-leaf clover AND winning the lotto would be incredibly small.

5. Becoming a movie star

Now that you know how unlikely it is that you will strike it rich in the lotto, what other paths to wealth are available? The odds of being a movie star are around one in 1.5 million.

6. Becoming a saint

In his book “Life: The Odds,” author Gregory Baer pegs your chances of becoming a saint at one in 20 million, given that about 100 billion people have ever existed and about 5000 have been canonised. Obviously, your chances are much better if you happen to be a Catholic, and even better again if you happen to be the pope.

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Written by Ben

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