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Wow! What are the odds of that? (The chances of random things)

February 23, 2010
tags: ,

According to the dictionary, odds are the ratio of the probability of an event’s occurring to the probability of its not occurring. They’re very big in sports gambling. They even have betting odds on Super Bowl commercials. It often makes me wonder what the odds are on things in everyday life.  There is a chance that anything can happen. 

So what are the odds of something happening? I came across a site called the Book of Odds the other day. It has the odds of all sorts of different possibilities. There are several common ones, such as being struck by lightning (1 in 835,500) and being in a plane crash (1 in 10,790,000).  But there are also some lesser known probabilities.  These were a few of my favorite. 


The odds an adult with a family income of less than $35,000 has ever had an ulcer: 1 in 10.85 ($100,000 or more: 1 in 21.13) 

They always say “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”.  While that may be true, if you have more money you’ll have less stress related health issues.  In fact, if you make six figures, your chance of getting an ulcer is half of someone making a third of that. 

Guess who suffers from more ulcers

To pour a little salt in the wound, higher wage earners have a better chance of having health insurance.  Sorry po’ folks.  You’re screwed either way.  Oh, wait.  I better start making more money. 


The odds of an adult baseball fan pulls for the Yankees: 1 in 9.77 

Oh boy.  The world is going to hell in a handbasket.  1 in 10 baseball fans is a Yankee backer?  I almost cried when I read that. 


I’m not quite sure if I’d be more or less upset if it were the Red Sox instead.   I wonder what the probability of Yankee fans being douchebags.  Probably very likely.


The odds of a man aged 25-44 has had no sexual partners in his lifetime: 1 in 35.71 

I’m still trying to decide if this one surprises me or not.  There are certainly examples of why this may be true. 


Also, people just don’t get out as much because they’re too busy playing World of Warcraft. 


The odds a person aged 18 – 49 who has had at least 50 sexual partners in his or her lifetime has genital herpes: 1 in 2.51 

Um, duh.  If you’ve had 50+ sexual partners and haven’t gotten herpes yet, go buy yourself a lottery ticket.  I don’t know what’s more likely; getting herpes from having that many partners or getting herpes from being one of those partners. 

"No, I don't have any STD's. But I do have a rotating waterbed."

And seriously, this would be a two part question in a survey.  The first being “Have you had more than 50 sexual partners?”.  If someone answers yes to that, they’re not going to tell you they have herpes, they’re going to be busy trying to get you to go home with them.


The odds a child younger than 15 will die due to an accident involving a balloon: 1 in 30,350,000 

I sat for a while and tried to think of a way to die by balloon.  I could only think of one. 

This one

And as far as I know, balloon animal attacks are even rarer. 


The odds an adult believes that a homosexual man should not be allowed to give a public speech: 1 in 5.92 

What does that even mean?  I suppose it means that people would not pay as much attention to a gay speaker.  Yeah, all those people were probably listening intently to governor James McGreevey when he was giving his speeches. 

Apparently, he should have never been allowed up here

I have a better list of people who should be banned from public speaking: No.1 golfers, former Alaskan governors, and any cast member of Jersey Shore. 


The odds that the President of the United States attended Harvard: 1 in 3.58 

Ah, the Good Ol’ Boys club.  More than 25% of out presidents have gone to the same university.  All of you conspiracy theorists, you may now rant. 

Yes, he did too

Believe it or not, George W. Bush is the only president in U.S. history to have an MBA (from Harvard, of course).  But not all presidents went to Ivy League schools.  Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College in California and Richard Nixon attended Whittier College and Duke. 


The odds that a male age 18-49 is afraid of spiders: 1 in 83.33 

I have to believe this one is slightly inaccurate.  I think there’s a much higher probability of a manly man being afraid of a spider.  I don’t mind most of them, but a few of the bigger ones make me jump a little.  My personal bet would be closer to 1 in 10. 

This one might get to me

Something tells me that the margin of error would have to be pretty big on this one.  It depends on how many men were asked this question by a girl. 


The odds a man believes it is acceptable to have sex on a first date :1 in 5 ( Women: 1 in 50) 

So your on a first date.  Everything is going well.  Dinner was good, the movie was funny, and now it’s at the end of the night.  If your a man, there’s a 20% chance you’re ready to get it on.  If you’re a woman, there’s a 2% chance that you’ll take him up on it. 

The last view of 98% of the 5%

I’m not sure I totally believe either one of those.  Personally, I think both probabilities would be more likely.  Something like 1 out of 3 men and 1 out of 15 women.  This isn’t the 50’s. 


The odds of an adult having to visit the ER due to an injury from a pogo stick: 1 in 115,300 

Well, now we all know the dangers of pogo sticks.  Of course, it doesn’t mention how many of the examples were due to complete stupidity. 


The good news is that you’re more likely to be injured by soap (1 in 11,380), a hammock (1 in 85,350), a toothbrush (1 in 99,340), and a drinking straw (1 in 100,600).  However, you are less likely to be sent to the hospital after having a mishap with a leaf blower. (1 in 171,100)


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15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 1:07 pm

    classic…great stuff Christian!

    Didn’t Rob injure himself at least once on a pogo stick? I know he self-sterialized with that unicycle, so it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch…

  2. March 8, 2010 9:31 am

    Amazing job! Glad you like our stuff and are sharing it with the world!

    For more info on Book of Odds, follow @Bookofodds on twitter

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Ken Alread permalink
    March 23, 2012 9:33 am

    Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College in Illinois not California.

  4. June 6, 2012 9:20 pm

    I like the yankees 😦

  5. Dick Goodwin permalink
    October 9, 2012 7:18 pm

    Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka collage in Illinois.

  6. Mel permalink
    November 3, 2012 3:54 pm

    What are the odds someone will be a victim of the type of organized bullying called gangstalking?

  7. January 1, 2014 12:50 pm

    If you want to improve your know-how only keep visiting this web site and be updated with the hottest news posted here.

  8. Pam permalink
    June 10, 2014 7:48 am

    How are these odds calculated, like the ones for accidents? All events that ever happened in relation to population numbers? USA or world? In a lifetime or yearly? Isn’t it messed up because some are based on sampling (questions about women/men on dates), others like the president’s college are pretty straight forward, and accidents are not straight forward?


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