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April 06, 2014
“The odds of meeting your partner on a blind date: 1 in 34.5.”

As a journalist, I’m fascinated by the odds (probability) of things and, of course, by odd (bizarre) things as well. So when I came across “The Book of Odds: From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, the Odds of Everyday Life,” I had to get it.

I wanted to share some of its findings this week. Remember, odds are based on recorded past occurrences and are not describing particulars. The authors of the book warn readers of this upfront.

Obviously as the title suggests, what are the odds of being struck by lightning? Only 1 in 1,101,000.

The odds an adult in a relationship met his or her partner at a New Year’s Eve party? 1 in 465. The odds a person 18-25 years old will binge drink alcohol in a month are 1 in 2.4.

And if you’re an undergraduate student, the odds that you broke up and got back together with the same person are 1 in 1.6.

Romance reader? Odds are 1 in 1.1 that you’re a female, while for a male, the odds of reading a romance novel are 1 in 10.5.

But the power of love is strong, because the odds an adult 30-49 will report he or she would rather suffer than let his or her loved one suffer are 1 in 1.1, or 90 percent.

When it comes to staying at home, a married woman with one or more children under age 6 has a 1 in 3.7 chance of being a stay-at-home mom. For a married man, the odds are 1 in 125 he will be a stay-at-home dad.

The odds a person will die in a year? 1 in 135. That’s about the same odds that a male born in 2008 is named David: 1 in 134. And the odds that an adult does not have a living will are 1 in 1.5; the same odds an adult does not believe in ghosts.

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