Breaking Down America’s Obsession with Odds And Chance

Life is a game of luck and chance. A spur-of-the-moment decision could lead you down a totally different path. You may end up buying a winning lottery ticket, being stung by a bee, or even being in a plane crash. But just how likely is it for any of these to happen to us?

PlayUSA analyzed Google search data for more than 2,000+ terms related to the odds of winning the lottery, getting pregnant, being struck by lightning, and more. While many Americans dream of winning the jackpot, others are more concerned about life-or-death matters. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of each state’s most Googled question about odds.

Most common state searches

When it comes to Americans’ curiosity about chances and ads, the lottery, weather, sports and questions related to pregnancy are at the top of their minds.

Out West, people are still trying to strike it rich. California and Arizona want to know how likely they are to win the lottery, Oregon is asking about the Powerball, and Nevada wants to know the odds on roulette. Overall, the top searches for 18 states involve questions related to the lottery and US casinos. Most were focused on the lottery specifically, but a few wanted to know the odds of Keno, Mega Millions, and even slots.

To the North, a handful of states are focused on the weather. Maine, New York, and Michigan specifically want to know the chances of having a snow day (Colorado and Idaho too)! Maryland was the only state that’s top concern was getting struck by lightning.

Top state searches about odds

Aside from Maryland, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, and Washington rounded out the top five states searching the most about lightning strikes. While it doesn’t happen every day, there is a 1-in-500,000 chance of getting struck by lightning every year in the US!

Those same states, along with California, were concerned about plane crashes too. But get this, you have a 1-in-20 million chance of dying in a commercial plane crash. That’s an astronomical number compared to car crashes, where you have a 1-in-101 chance of dying.

Unsurprisingly, some states along the coast are worried the most about deadly shark attacks. Delaware, Alaska, and Rhode Island google shark attacks the most. Strangely, landlocked states North Dakota and South Dakota did too. The odds are in your favor though, because you have a 1-in-3.7 million chance of dying from a shark attack. So, you can mute the “Jaws” music.

Unusual State searches about odds and chance

Oddly, some states were concerned with some very niche topics. Virginia wanted to know chances of getting bit by the lone star tick. That’s the tick that can make you allergic to meat!

Maryland wanted details about the chance of a government shutdown, and California wanted to know the chances of getting called in for jury duty. People living in Massachusetts are hoping not to travel far for college. The state searches a lot about the chances of getting into Harvard (FYI: Harvard has a 5% acceptance rate).

Minnesota Vikings fans appear to be keeping tabs on the Packers and want to know the odds of the Packers winning the Super Bowl. Wisconsin appears to have put its faith in Aaron Rogers and wants to know instead the odds of a perfect bracket. It’s not good. You have a 1 in 9 quintillion odds of choosing the perfect March Madness bracket.

The actual odds

A common health fear is cancer, and that’s warranted. You have 1-in-7 odds of dying from cancer (that’s according to the National Safety Council). There is also a 1-in-221 chance of dying by a gun attack. The odds grow even greater for instances like dying by a bee sting (1-in-57,825) or from fireworks (1-in-340,733).

But not all odds are bad news. The luckiest golfers have a 1-in-12,500 chance of getting that coveted hole-in-one. To put it into perspective, if they got a hole-in-one on their 12,500th hole, that would take more than 694 golf games to happen. Practice makes perfect. Whether it be chance or luck, we hope the odds stay forever in your favor.

Odds methodology

In May 2022, we analyzed more than 2,000 Google search volume terms and phrases related to odds and chances in all 50 states, as well as the most populated cities across the country.

Data on the actual odds and chances were gathered through a variety of sources, including the National Safety Council and the Centers for Disease Control.

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

Fair Use

When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing Playusa.com


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