Archive for the ‘Risk’ Category

Calculating the Odds

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

The news headlines this weekend were all about “Lottery Fever” with the Powerball jackpot expected to exceed $900 million by the time tonight’s drawing takes place. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 292 million to one. By comparison, your odds of dying in a cataclysmic storm are 6,780 to one; your odds of dying in 158,369 to one; and your odds of dying in an earthquake are 179,965 to one. Most people do nothing to protect themselves against those risks,  in effect, taking the mortality bet. But they also take the lottery bet with considerably greater odds. I admit that with the jackpot this high, I did purchase a ticket. However, I did so as $2 is a small price to pay to indulge a brief daydream. But I also took all reasonable precautions to protect myself, and my business, against threats more likely than the odds of holding a winning Powerball ticket.