Steve Eighinger

Never tell me the odds

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 6, 2017 9:45 am

All of the recent hub-bub surrounding the huge Powerball lottery got me thinking about how lucky someone would have to be to possess a winning ticket.

Actually, it's somewhere far beyond lucky. Far, far, far beyond.

According to Clark Hodges, a financial strategist who is one of those guys smart enough to figure out things like that, how does a one-in-292 million chance of success sound? I have no idea how he comes up with a ratio like that, I merely accept it.

"I'm no party pooper," Hodges said in published reports. "There's nothing wrong with buying a ticket or two. Just don't make it your retirement plan.

"We all know people who are spending $20 a week on tickets. If you took that same money and wisely invested it over time you would retire a millionaire."

Yeah, Clark, but that's no fun.

Hodges also offered some odds on potential occurrences that are more likely to happen than winning a Powerball lottery. Again, I have no idea how he came up with these numbers, but here is a sampling of his findings:

º Dying from an asteroid strike: 1 in 74,817,414. (Has he not seen some of those science-fiction movies?)

º Getting murdered during a trip to the Grand Canyon: 1 in 8,156,000. (Wonder what the odds are for simply falling off the edge?)

º Dying from chronic constipation: 1 in 2,215,900. (Holy crap. That would be a rough way to go.)

º Getting struck by lightning: 1 in 1,101,000. (This would probably be worse than the constipation-related death.)

º Struck by lightning, while drowning: 1 in 183 million. (This would never, ever happen to me. I would never be in the water to begin with because I can't swim. And, no, I wouldn't be on a boat either, which would eliminate the chance of falling overboard.)

º Bowling a 300 game: 1 in 11,500. (I think the closest I ever came to a 300 game was a 188.)

º Have an IQ of 190 or greater: 1 in 107 million. (I have no idea what my IQ is, but I would guess somewhere between an armadillo and Chris Berman.)

º Attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million. (Again, no chance. I wouldn't be in the water, especially water where there was even the slightest chance a shark might show up.)

º Being drafted by an NBA team: 1 in 6.8 million. (No chance of this ever happening. My jump shot is sorely lacking.)

º Becoming a movie star: 1 in 1.5 million. (Might have an outside shot of this materializing. I am often mistaken for Brad Pitt.)

º Dating a super model: 1 in 88,000. (Which super model?)

º Being killed by a vending machine: 1 in 112 million. (These odds actually worry me. I spend a lot of time around vending machines.)

Bottom line? Once or twice a year I'm going to buy a Powerball ticket -- while simultaneously hoping I don't die from chronic constipation.

Sign up for Email Alerts