TIL that park ranger Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times throughout his lifetime, surviving all of them. The odds of this happening are about 1 in 10 octillion.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Sullivan#Seven_strikes

What do you think?

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  1. The odds of that happening to any random individual is 1 in 10 octillion. He lived a life that put him in lightning’s way much more often than your average person. Not saying that it’s going to be coming, but it’s definitely not 1 in 10 octillion.

  2. > Although he never was a fearful man, after the fourth strike he began to believe that some force was trying to destroy him and he acquired a fear of death.

    I can imagine god shaking his almighty fist at Sullivan and saying under his breath, “Next time Sully, I’ll get you next time.”

  3. The odds depend on *when* you ask. But also, it’s very important to note that the odds are not random, and they vary depending on what a person’s actions are. Stand on top of a mountain in a storm and the odds of getting struck by lighting are far better than if you were in an underground bunker.

    As an example of “when”, if you ask prior to flipping a coin twice, the odds of throwing two heads in a row are 4 to 1. However, if you ask after the first flip, which was heads, then the odds are 2 to 1. After this guy had been struck 6 times, the probability of getting struck a seventh time were comparatively high.

  4. … that we know of. I sometimes wonder that maybe there may have been humans with such records in medieval times or maybe even before than that but due to our poor-record keeping devices/technologies back then, there are no surviving records of those guys anymore.

  5. I think that assumed that these are uncorrelated events, which is almost certainly not the case — to get hit by lightning seven times, you probably have to behave in a way that increases your probability of getting hit by lightning.

    You know, standing on a mountain in copper armour, yelling “All gods are bastards!”.

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