How lightning causes death

What is the probability of being struck by lightning? Comparable to the lottery game?

The chance for six correct numbers in the German number lottery 6 out of 49 is one in 14 million (with the jackpot, i.e. with six correct numbers with a super number, the probability is ten times lower). If you play the lottery every week, there is a probability of one in 270 thousand that you will pick six correct numbers in a year.

The probability of being struck by lightning in the course of a year is thus 75 timesless than the probability of getting 6 numbers in the lottery once a year.

The difference between the lottery and lightning strikes lies in personal behavior: those who take the precautionary measures during thunderstorms reduce the probability of a direct strike extremely; With the lottery, on the other hand, the odds are the same for everyone.

In daily life there are other risks that can be used for a comparison:

  • In aviation, a probability of deaths of 12.7 per 1 million flight hours was calculated for the 10-year period 2002 - 2011 (source: Wikipedia accessed on August 24, 2017). Anyone who spends ten hours on an airplane in the course of a year has a statistical probability of one in 800 thousand to expect the end of his life.
  • According to the German Cancer Research Center, 7,600 people died of leukemia (blood cancer) in 2012. In relation to the total population, the probability is one in 10,500.