This is a great article along the line of – just by virtue of the fact that you were born – makes you an awesome winner in life. (Cue Rocky Music)
Article – Sydney Morning Herald – Thursday 25th May 2006
We’re all winners in the great lottery of life – Bill Kierath
I want to win lotto. By myself. Not sharing it with others who will reduce my share.
I could pay off the house, buy a new car, go on holiday, set up the kids, quit work, buy the weekender, buy a business and still have enough left to have no worries for 20, 40 or 60 years.
Unfortunately, winning is one chance in several million, and, with my luck, those odds are too great. But I am here and I have just taken another breath.
My mother was born with about 800,000 immature eggs in her ovaries. Alas, 799,996 of my half brothers and sisters’ did not have their eggs mature, become fertilised or survive. But mine and my sisters’ were. So I started off life by winning a 1 in 800,000 lottery.
My father was a healthy fellow who was sexually mature for about 60 years. During his life he probably produced about 200 million sperm everyday for a total of about 4,000,000,000,000. And only one of them was mine – all the others were half brothers and sisters. The chance of my egg being fertilised by my sperm is something like 1 in 3,200,000,000,000,000,000.
So already I’m feeling lucky. And that is only the start. My father and mother each faced the same improbable odds being born. They then had to choose each other over all the other possible mates.
This same improbability extends and multiplies back generation by generation to the very first cell division. Consequently, the probability of being born is virtually zero. One would be more likely to randomly collect the same grain of sand that had been discarded 50 years earlier on any on of earth’s beaches. But I was born against these odds, and so was every human who has ever lived. Every dog, fish, plant and microbe has arrived against similar odds.
It is a sobering thought that the slightest change in circumstances of my ancestral history would have almost certainly resulted in me missing out on the privilege of living. Lucky for me that the sabre toothed tiger chasing my young forebear could not quiet reach him/her on the branch of the tree all those years ago.
Of course, there are those who say you make your own luck. Equally, there are others who prefer to think luck is something in the lap of the gods.
I prefer to think the numbers game really boils down to mathematics: the odds are daunting – an ordinary Monday and Wednesday Lotto win is a 7 million-to-one shot; Powerball is in fact a 50 million-to-one chance. But we still keep trying, a case of hope over experience.
So I am going to smile at the world because I am sharing it with winners. And I am not going to worry about Lotto – that is too easy after what I have been through to get here.
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