Australians have roughly one chance in 200,000 of being struck or injured by lightning. That comes to about 110 people each year. On the up side, if you are one of these unfortunates you have a 91 per cent chance of surviving the experience, which seems reasonable odds.
If wondering around a golf course, in a thunderstorm, is not your style, then heading down to the beach may also be safer, at least when it comes to sharks and the odds. With over 100,000,000 annual beach visitations and an average of one shark related fatality a year, averaged over the last fifty years, you have a pretty good chance of getting home without being nibbled by something bigger than sea lice.
On the other hand, death by kangaroo is also a fairly unlikely occurrence, coming in around 1,222,000 to one. Which, by a strange coincidence, is about the same odds that you have of winning one game of Division 2 Powerball.
The odds of actually winning one game of Powerball, are an eye watering 54,979,155 to one. And as we only have a population around 22,700,000 we have to go to the US to find comparable natural odds, where you have about the same chance of death by Rattlesnake.
But you can swing the odds in your favour. By splurging $9.60 on 12 standard Powerball games you bring your odds to about the same as your chance of dying in an Emu related road death, the odds of which work out to be about 4,400,000 to one. Avoiding Emu infested roads would also be a sensible approach.
Back of the envelope calculations also indicate that your chance of being trampled to death by a horse, pony or donkey is 2,142,857 to one, which is about the same as winning one game of Division 2 OZ Lotto.
The odds are less favourable when it comes to swimming. In 2011 the odds of drowning at a beach were a sobering 344,000 to one. Which is about the same odds as winning the top prize on a $10 Instant Scratch-Its ticket and the princely sum of $500,000.
It is interesting to note that on the whole you have a much greater chance of death being inflicted by any number of obscure causes than you have of winning a major Australian lottery. Be it gouged by bull, 440,000 to one, or taken by crocodile 2,444,444 to one.
Powerball - 54,979,155 to 1
Oz Lotto - 45,379,620 to 1
Gold Lotto - 8,145,060 to 1
The Pools - 2,760,681 to 1
Super 66 - 1,000,000 to 1
Mind you, the $221.2 million EuroMillions jackpot can turn thoughts to strolling down to the local newsagency for a flutter. But I’ll be sure to pick up some insect repellent on the way, well you never know. Bees are dangerous, 1,375,000 to one kind of dangerous...
For regular updates, Like BigPond Money on Facebook.
The views in this article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Telstra BigPond. Information sourced from: Australian Geographic, Australian Shark File Taronga Zoo, Animal Related Deaths NCIS Fact Sheet 2010, 2010-11 National Coastal drowning Snapshot, tatts.com