What are the Odds?

The chance that one thing will happen instead of a different thing

Odds provide a measure of the likelihood of a particular outcome. They are calculated as the ratio of the number of events that produce that outcome to the number that do not. Odds are commonly used in gambling and statistics. Odds also have a simple relation with probability: the odds of an outcome are the ratio of the probability that the outcome occurs to the probability that the outcome does not occur.

So what are the odds you’ll get struck by lightning? Well in the United States it is about 1 in 1.1 million. In California, it is about 1 in 13 million, but in Montana, it is 1 in 249,550. In my state of Georgia, it is 1 in 869,114.

I don’t play the lottery but I thought I’d check my odds. It seems that the Powerball is about 1 in 292.2 million and the Mega Millions is 1 in 302.5 million. So my chances of getting struck by lightning are much better and I won’t have to go to the convenience store.

My chances of being bitten by a shark are zero unless they start walking on dry land. Now, if you swim in the ocean with sharks your chances increase to 1 in 3.75 million. For 171 years, between 1837 and 2017, there were 1,400 recorded unprovoked shark attacks in the US.

What about seeing a UFO? Again in my state of Georgia, the odds are about 1 in 164,300, while Florida is 1 in 341,800. The most likely spot is South Dakota at 1 in 11,200. Even if you think it is unexplained 90-95% of sightings are not so U-FOs. They could be weather events, military tests, or other events. Although, there are still many UFO sightings that simply can’t be explained.

What are your chances of being killed in a plane crash? It is about 1 in 11 million. There were 40 airplane accidents in 2020, five of which were fatal, killing 299 people. In 2019, 86 accidents were recorded and eight were fatal, causing the death of 257 people.

Your odds of being killed in a tornado are about 1 in 13 million. Needless to say, but I will, if you live in a mobile home or in frequent tornado paths, then your odds are a little worse. There are only about 25 deaths a year reported.

What are your chances of being saved by CPR? If you have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and CPR is performed there is a 45% chance that you’ll survive. You will just have to hope someone around you at the time can perform CPR.

Looking for a four-leaf clover? Dr. John Frett, professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware says that 1 in 10,000 clovers have the genetic extra leaf quirk. So you’ll have to look hard but you’ll find some!

What about dying in a car accident? Well, unfortunately, the odds are good in a bad way. The odds are about 1 in 107. When you look at the numbers, your chance of being injured in a car accident is much greater than your chance of being killed.


McGuire Law Firm
The Balance

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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