March Madness: You have a better chance of shark bite, having sextuplets or winning Powerball than perfect bracket
Let's just get this out there: You will never, ever get a perfect March Madness bracket. It's never been done. The odds are too astronomical.
And yet, millions of Americans try every year for March Madness.
What are the odds of getting a perfect bracket? 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, according to ncaa.com. (Psst, don't feel bad if you have trouble pronouncing that number at first glance. You're not alone. According to howtopronounce.com, that figure is nine quintillion, two hundred and twenty-three quadrillion, three hundred and seventy-two trillion, thirty-six billion, eight hundred and fifty-four million, seven hundred and seventy-five thousand, eight hundred and eight − or 9.2 quintillion for short.)
Shark attacks: Are bites common? This database tracks how many known in a South Florida area since 1998
Who can say why so many people love to predict the perfect path of the 68-team men's and women's NCAA basketball tournament fields? But whether you've been watching college basketball all season or you're just picking the teams based on their mascots, it certainly makes for fun competition.
Those mad about March Madness brackets could say filling out a flawless bracket is the pinnacle of sports gambling.
Below is a list of things that have, ahem, slightly better odds than getting a perfect bracket ... Coincidentally, a lot of them have Florida ties.
What are the odds of getting bitten or killed by a shark?
When it comes to shark attacks, the U.S. leads, with Florida known as the shark bite capital of the world. New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County have reported the most shark bites since 1882, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.
In 2022, 57 shark attacks were recorded globally. With five fatal shark bites in 2022, you have a 1 in 4.3 million chance of dying from a shark bite, according to the file.
Odds of getting killed by a shark? 1 in 4,332,817, according to the July 2022 stats of the International Shark Attack File, maintained by the UF Florida Museum of Natural History.
What are the odds of getting attacked by an alligator?
Florida is well-known for alligator mayhem, with Florida-esque tales of an alligator biting a man at his front door or a gator being caught in a swimming pool.
According to a USA TODAY story, the creature is most abundant in Louisiana and Florida, with each state having a population of over 1 million alligators.
How common is an alligator attack? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the chances of a Florida resident being seriously injured in an unprovoked alligator attack are in one in 3.1 million.
What are the odds of getting struck by lightning?
Where there is a lot of lightning, there is an increased chance of being struck, so says the National Weather Service. Florida is largely regarded as the lightning capital of the world, with the corridor from Tampa Bay to Titusville known as "Lightning Alley."
What are the odds of getting struck by lightning? The weather service says there is no single answer that fits. "The average annual per capita strike rate in the United States is around 1 in 600,000. However, this does not mean your odds of being struck are 1 in 600,000."
The weather service does have this data:
One lightning casualty occurred for every 86,000 flashes in the U.S.
One death occurred for every 345,000 flashes.
One injury occurred for every 114,000 flashes.
Overall, a rate of 7.7 casualties per million people per 100 million flashes was found for the U.S.
According to the CDC, "the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than one in a million, and almost 90% of all lightning strike victims survive."
And this story from CBS17.com, about winning the Powerball lottery (see below for those odds), mentions you have a one in 9 million chance of getting struck by lightning twice.
What are the odds of winning Mega Millions lottery?
According to the Mega Millions website, you have a 1 in 302,575,350 (or a 1 in 302.6 million) chance to match all five white balls plus the gold Mega Ball. Prizes range from $2 (for matching the Mega Ball) to the grand prize jackpot, which varies. A larger jackpot, which typically increases the number of tickets sold nationally, does not change the odds.
What are the odds of winning Powerball?
According to Powerball.com, players have a one in 292,201,338 (or 1 in 292.2 million) chance to match all five white balls and the red Powerball. Prizes range from $2 to the grand prize jackpot, which varies. A larger jackpot does not change the odds.
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What are the odds of having twins, triplets or quadruplets?
Fraternal twins — the most common kind of twins — occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm, according to the Mayo Clinic. Each twin has his or her own placenta and amniotic sac.
In 2021, there were 114,161 twin births and the twin birth rate was just slightly over 3% of births or 31.2 per 1,000 live births, according to the CDC.
The number of triplet births was far smaller at 2,933, and the number of quadruplet or higher births was even smaller at 148. The rate of triplet or higher births is 80 per 100,000 live births, according to the CDC.
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What are the odds of having quintuplets?
According to a 2020 story on NewsWest9, a woman in Odessa, Texas, gave birth to quintuplets.
The odds of conceiving quintuplets naturally are one in 60 million, the story states, and with reproductive technology that chance goes up to six in 10,000.
The odds of conceiving quintuplets naturally are one in 60 million. With reproductive technology that chance goes up to six in 10,000. The National Center for Health Statistics reports the number of quintuplets and other higher order births (classified as four or more) in 2013 was 66.
What are the odds of having sextuplets?
In 2019, a woman in Texas gave birth to two sets of twin boys and a set of twin girls, or sextuplets. The odds of giving birth to sextuplets are estimated at one in 4.7 billion, according to the Women's Hospital of Texas, where the sextuplet babies were born.
Another site, raisingmultiples.org, says the odds of having sextuplets happens 1 in 3.9 billion times or one in 3,939,040,643 pregnancies.
What are the odds of having octuplets?
Octuplet pregnancies are extremely rare events with only a handful of known cases over the years. A 1967 Time article calls it a "trillion-to-one chance." That year in Mexico City, a woman gave birth to octuplets, four boys and four girls, or a one in 20,971,520,000,000 chance.
There have been octuplet births since then (remember "Octomom?"), most notably, the Chukwu octuplets born in 1998 in Texas or the Suleman family in 2009.
According to parenting.firstcry.com, "the reproductive systems of human females are primarily designed to release a single egg per month and in a few cases two; which often results in twins. Therefore to have an octuplet pregnancy naturally, the odds will have to be astronomical."
Contributing: Gianna Montesano, TCPalm; Beth Reese Cravey, Florida Times-Union; Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY
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Sangalang is a Florida Audience Team lead producer and social media champ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @byjensangalang.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Odds of perfect bracket higher than being struck by lightning twice