Monday, February 4, 2013

Odd Odds

In a recent article concerning the 1 to 175 million odds of winning a Powerball jackpot, they also listed the odds of other somewhat unusual occurrences. I realize that Powerball odds are easily mathematically verifiable, but some of the listed probabilities seemed a bit… off; such as: Your odds of dying in an asteroid apocalypse of 1 in 12,500 are better than being murdered, with odds of 1 in 18,000. REALLY?! I mean, you can adjust your odds of being murdered by adjusting where you live and what you do, but that asteroid thing seems a bit… askew. Where did they get the statistics for an asteroid apocalypse anyway? But aside from that, what caught my attention was the stated chance of becoming a New York Times Bestselling Author at 220 to 1. They do add the caveat, “If you’re an Author.” But again: Really?! From a separate article I noticed that those odds are about the same as dating a millionaire. Huh? Surely you jest. But I am married so for me, the odds against that are infinite. However, I do know quite a few authors, but I don’t know any from the best sellers list. I’d really like to hear the facts behind that projected likelihood. If anyone can enlighten me; please, fill me in. I must be missing something. I suppose if your last name is Rowling and your first initials are J. and K. the probabilities are pretty much 1 to 1 of making the list. But then again, maybe all you need is initials for your first name, like C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien. But alas, they are both dead, so I’d say their chances of writing another bestseller are fairly low. Perhaps they died in the asteroid Apocalypse.

Articles used in this post;
Powerball Odds from the Huffington Post
What Are the Odds? by: Natalie Josef at

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