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St. Patrick's Day odds

Kelly Kowalski, Cliff Noreen, and Bronwyn Shinnick

Posted on March 17, 2024

Our executives and experts team up to write educational articles, covering a variety of financial topics such as life planning, college savings, and retirement.
St. Patrick's Day

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 one report citing analysis by a University of Delaware horticulture professor. 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. Are slot machines a better bet? •	In the analog days when slot machines were, well, machines, the odds were based on 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 virtual reels can have memory for many more symbols. So, as the website How Stuff Works  points out, while casinos are required by law to pay back a certain percentage of slot money to players overall, the odds of hitting the top jackpot prize on a typical machine can be 1 in 262,144 or more. How about making a hole-in-one in golf? •	That’s 1 in 12,500 for the average golfer, according to research done for the PGA. Golf Digest did a similar analysis with almost the same result. (The magazine compared that to bowling a perfect game of 300, which they put at 1 in 11,500 for the average bowler). Bad stuff happens too. The odds of a tax audit? •	One in 220, according to CNBC, in an analysis of IRS figures. The odds you’ll be struck by lightning in your lifetime? •	One in 500,000, says the Centers for Disease Control. 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 become disabled before reaching retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. That’s just one of several surprising facts about disability that people don’t know about. •	That’s why people should think about disability income insurance (hey, this is a MassMutual article, after all). Because another thing most people don’t realize is what effect a disability may have on their finances. •	Do you know your number? Calculator: How much disability income insurance would I need? Okay, we don’t want to be a downer on a festive day. So, we’ll leave you with this… •	About one in every 30 infants born in the United States is a twin, according to a review of twin births by the National Center for Health Statistics. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!













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The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek advice from your own tax or legal counsel. Opinions expressed by those interviewed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.