Thursday 27 February 2014

A Lightning Strike, A Plane Crash & An Asteroid Apocalypse

There is a new ticket wicket at the Food Basics where I shop.  An elderly lady was excited to hear last week that the wicket would be selling Lotto 649 tickets.  I asked the cashier how many they sold in a day and she said about 50.  I began to wonder how many tickets sold at the ticket wicket inside the mall.  And how about at Shoppers Drugmart?  Or the cigar store?  Or the Canadian Tire Gas Bar across the street where my brother-in-law works?  He listens to the annoying sound of "Winner" coming from his cash register all day long.

But just how many "winners" are there?  I visited the website to find out.  According to the official Lotto 649 website, the jackpot for March 1 is 5,000,000.  However, the odds of winning the jackpot (or to be more precise, 80% of the jackpot) are:

1 :  13, 983, 816

Then I googled "statistics on events which are more probable than winning the lottery".  Here is what I found:

1.  Becoming President of the United States                 1  :  10 million
2.  Being Struck by Lightning                                       1  :  1 million
3.  Dying on the Job                                                    1  :  48,000
4.  Dying in the Bathtub                                               1  :  840,000
5.  Dying from a bee/wasp sting                                   1  :  6.1 million
6.  Dying in an asteroid apocalypse                              1  :  12,500
7.  Dying from a flesh eating virus                                 1  :  1 million
8.  Dying in a plane crash                                             1  :  1 million
9.  Dying from being a left-handed person who uses
     a right-handed product incorrectly                           1  :  4.4 million
10.  Becoming a movie star                                          1  :  1,505,000  

Sobering statistics, eh?


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