Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Odd$



Did you buy a Mega Millions ticket today?  As I write this, the drawing has not been held yet, but there is a chance that someone will win $636 million tonight. Actually the chance is 1-in-259,000,000.  There is zero chance I will win because I did not by a ticket.  I was busy.  But I have purchased them in the past despite the odds.  One shot in 259 million is still better than zero.

So those odds involve huge numbers and it’s difficult to picture what that really means.  So with the help of a web site I stumbled on, let’s look at a few things that are more likely to happen to you than winning enough money to buy a million dollar condo in each of your favorite 600 cities.

Your odds of being diagnosed with hemorrhoids is 25-t0-1.  Flying with a drunk pilot? 117-to-1.  I’d rather have hemorrhoids.  Actually I did.  TMI?

What are the odds of bowling a perfect 300?  11,500-to-1.  Dating a supermodel? 88,000-to-1.  Where do I buy that ticket?  All things considered, those look like good odds.  There is a 576,000-to-1 chance you or I will be struck by lightning.

Here is my favorite:  The odds of being crushed to death by a vending machine are 112,000,000-to-1.  Still better odds than winning tonight’s Mega Million jackpot.

If you could buy tickets for a chance to have any of those things happen to you, would you?  Supermodel, yes.  The others, no.  Of course there is no good reason to want to ‘win’ any of those prizes.  But the possibility of winning $636, 000, 000 for an ‘investment’ of one dollar?  I like the odds no matter how small.  And you?

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