Does anyone really know the odds off getting struck by lightning? Nah, probably not. And are those odds really better than winning the lottery? Nah, probably not. And in any case, aren’t there infinitely too many variables to even keep up with in order to determine just how astronomical those odds are? Yeah, probably so. The fact is, is that it doesn’t take much poking around the internet to see how inconsistent the claims are. I went ahead and did all the work for you. Here’s the useful truth:
The simplest way to determine your odds of being stuck by lightning in any given year is to take the United States Population and divide it by the number of lightning strikes in the United States that year. So you’ll find a fairly common number somewhere around 1 in 500,000 or so. (Some are as high as 1 in 900,000 or 1,000,000. Some as low as 240,000). Obviously that’s quite a range, but you get the idea. No matter what the odds, no one really wants it to be them.
My advice? Go live in Hawaii, New Hampshire, Washington, Alaska, Delaware, or D.C. where there are no recorded deaths-by-lightning in the books. (And I hear Hawaii is nice this time of year.) Does that help you at all? Not me. Not here in Texas. As for the other 45 states, well, don’t go swimming in a lightning storm. Just go inside. (And no, you’re car doesn’t count. And who swims in the rain anyway?) The almost surefire way to not die by lightning: don’t do anything stupid.
I could throw math at you all day for this one. Basically, winning the jackpot lottery in most states is give or take 1 in 80,000,000. The multi-state lotteries are depressingly worse than that. (Those facts don’t sway too many players, however, because governments still bring in billions per year selling tickets.) (Maybe we could have a national lottery. Then we could etch away at that multi-trillion dollar debt…just a thought).
My advice? Try a 401k instead.
BUT if you must, then there’s only one way to win when the odds are 134,435,197 to 1. Buy 134,435,197 different tickets. (Then, you don’t need luck.) So…good luck with that!
By: S. Cole Garrett