As we brace ourselves for another night of lightning storms this evening (July 25), some of you might be wondering what are your chances of being struck by lightning.
After doing our homework and consulting with those clever folks at the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), we can now put our readers' minds (somewhat) at rest.
Because we can now reveal that the actual chances of you being struck by lightning are very, very...very low.
According to one estimate, you are 40 times more likely to be killed by an aeroplane crashing into your home.
And you can rest peacefully in your beds tonight, knowing that you are 100 times more likely to be murdered than hit by a lightning bolt.
That said, the odds served little comfort to one American man, who holds the Guinness World Record for the number of times an individual has been struck by lightning.
Roy 'Sparky' Sullivan, now deceased, was a park ranger in Virginia and had the spectacular misfortune (or fortune) of surviving SEVEN strikes between 1942 and 1977.
We are not all as lucky (or unlucky?) as Sparky Sullivan, but hopefully we can take comfort in the knowledge that being struck by lightning is a reassuring 1 in TEN MILLION.
Take a look at the odds below and remember that you are much more likely to scoop the EuroMillions than be hit by a bolt of lightning in Lancashire tonight.
Odds of being struck by lightning compared with other freak events
According to the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ, these are the odds of being struck by lightning compared to other freak events.
- Getting three balls in the UK national lottery - 1 in 11
- Dying on the road over 50 years of driving - 1 in 85
- Transmission of measles - 1 in 100
- Dying of any cause in the next year - 1 in 100
- Annual risk of death from smoking 10 cigarettes per day - 1 in 200
- Getting four balls in the UK national lottery - 1 in 206
- Needing emergency treatment in the next year after being injured by a can, bottle, or jar - 1 in 1,000
- Needing emergency treatment in the next year after being injured by a bed mattress or pillow - 1 in 2,000
- Death by an accident at home - 1 in 7,100
- Getting five balls in the UK national lottery - 1 in 11,098
- Death by an accident at work - 1 in 40,000
- Death playing football - 1 in 50,000
- Death by murder - 1 in 100,000
- Being hit in your home by a crashing aeroplane - 1 in 250,000
- Death by rail accident - 1 in 500,000
- Drowning in the bath in the next year - 1 in 685,000
- Getting six balls in the UK national lottery - 1 in 2,796,763
- Being struck by lightning - 1 in 10 million
- Death from a new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (mad cow disease) - 1 in 10 million
- Death from a nuclear power accident - 1 in 10 million
And if you are still concerned about your chances, you can read our guide on how to stay safe when lightning storms hit Lancashire tonight (July 25).