The Odds

Ever wonder what the odds are for various things impacting your life? I began to ponder this after someone I care for related the odds of what they are going through. (They might never read this, but it does not matter.) It was completely mind boggling. I’ve sat on this for a bit, because I just didn’t know how I wanted to write about it. Most of you know I am more of a poet than a blogger, however verse just didn’t seem to fit.

I started searching for information on the odds of various things, but saying I was completely blown away does NOT begin to cover it. Here is a list I compiled from the always reliable internet.

  1. Odds of bowling a 300 game: 11,500 to 1
  2. Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
  3. Odds of getting canonized: 20,000,000 to 1
  4. Odds of being an astronaut: 13,200,000 to 1
  5. Odds of winning an Olympic medal: 662,000 to 1
  6. Odds of an American speaking Cherokee: 15,000 to 1
  7. Odds that a person between the age of 18 and 29 does NOT read a newspaper regularly: 3 to 1
  8. Odds that an American adult does not want to live to age 120 under any circumstances: 3 to 2
  9. Odds of injury from fireworks: 19,556 to 1
  10. Odds of injury from shaving: 6,585 to 1
  11. Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 4,464 to 1
  12. Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,623 to 1
  13. Odds of fatally slipping in bath or shower: 2,232 to 1
  14. Odds of drowning in a bathtub: 685,000 to 1
  15. Odds of being killed on a 5-mile bus trip: 500,000,000 to 1
  16. Odds of being killed sometime in the next year in any sort of transportation accident: 77 to 1
  17. Odds of being killed in any sort of non-transportation accident: 69 to 1
  18. Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
  19. Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1
  20. Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
  21. Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1


The odds of one person having this particular series of conditions comes in at a staggering 19 millions of 1%.

So I mulled it. The wrongness of it. The unenviable existence that they had a greater chance of getting murdered. That the likelihood of them being struck AND killed by lightning dwarfed the chance for these things coming together in one single person.

Now I do not know how to calculate the odds that our lives connected. I have no way of knowing the statistical data to measure this likelihood. I also cannot fathom the numbers to show the other connections they have made up to and including their true love. But I do know the odds for how special and important they are.  I know the ratio and percent to show that they have made such a positive and profound impact on my life. And I know of at least one other person that feels the same.

I can’t do anything about the rarity of the other number, but I can let them know the odds of how special they are to me. That’s  1:1.

I can let them know the ratio and percent of how much of a difference they have made in at least 2 lives.

It’s 100%.

And I have to say: Thank you!!!


  1. Oh, I love it! I’m a numbers guy, so obviously this kind of stuff fascinates me, like, 99.84% of the time. Even numbers guys take an occasional mental holiday so I couldn’t strike at 1:1 there.

    I was actually surprised that 1 in 15,000 Americans spoke Cherokee. Keep the language alive, ye 20,000 souls! ✊

    Also, I have mowed, literally, 50,000 lawns in my lifetime, at least (I did it for a living for years), with nary an injury (unless you count the occasional bumped head on a low-lying limb). According to this I should have had at least 13. There is nothing lucky about my analysis there.

    But luck has nothing to do with it. The special person in your piece had the worst of luck by getting the affliction unmentioned, but also the best of luck at having you as a friend. What are the odds?

    I really like your blogging, when you do it, Wulf. Of course, your passion is your poetry not your prose and I would never want you to be anything but you.

    Okay, now I have to go carefully mow my lawn and hope I don’t get hit by lightning since there’s a 20% chance of thunderstorms. I prefer to think the odds are still in my favor there. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, as ever, for another of the most wonderful and detailed comments.

      I am happy my blogging comes across so well, then. I almost think it’s the ranting that drives the prose. I promise that I will continue to post them as they seize me.

      Liked by 1 person

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