# Calculating the odds of being struck by lightning

The odds of getting struck by lightning is often compared to the odds of hitting the correct lottery numbers.

Calculating the odds of getting all lottery numbers correct is easy, because there are finite possibilities. But how does one compute the odds of getting hit by lightning? I've seen so many different answers, so I'd assume that they are calculating it differently.

I have also seen sources take an average using previous year(s) data, but shouldn't that be invalid because the odds is independent from time and trials? Is the term odds being misused here?

Furthermore, I have heard another variation where one has a higher chance of being struck by lightning on a sunny day than winning the lottery. Is this even possible: to be struck by lightning on a sunny day?

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I imagine it would be difficult to calculate. Estimating the probability based on previous data definitely seems to be the most feasible way of getting a probability. Depending on how you are taking the probability there are several considerations: area, population density, etc. and discrepancies between these considerations is probably what leads to different answers. –  EuYu Nov 29 '12 at 17:00