Are you thinking about luck on this St. Patrick’s Day?
What are the odds of finding a four-leaf clover? About 1 in 10,000 according to a Daily Telegraph report quoting a University of Sydney mathematician.1
How about being the sole winner of the lottery? That depends on the game and number of players, obviously, but you can probably start with a baseline of 1 in 175 million for Powerball, according to the executive director of the American statistical Association.2
Are slot machines a better bet? Generally the odds are the number of spinning “reels” times the number of symbols on each reel. So a slot machine with five reels and five symbols on each of those reels is offering odds of 1 in 3,125. Of course, the slot machine’s shift into the digital realm has drastically stretched those odds, as this 2011 article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes.3
How about making a hole-in-one in golf? That’s 1 in 12,000 for the average golfer, according to research done for Golf Digest. (The magazine compared that to bowling a perfect game of 300, which they put at 1 in 11,500 for the average bowler).4
Bad stuff happens too.
The odds of a tax audit? One in 116, according to personal finance magazine Kiplinger. Actually, Kiplinger says the odds decline to less than 300 to 1 if your return doesn’t involve income from a business, rental income, or employee expense write-offs.5
The chance that a 20-year-old will be too sick or injured to work sometime during their career? Well, more than one in four 20-year-olds, insured for disability benefits, becomes disabled before reaching retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration.6 That’s why people should think about disability income insurance (hey, this is a MassMutual article, after all).
Okay, we don’t want to be a downer on a festive day. So we’ll leave you with this…
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one in every 30 infants born in 2009 was a twin.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.