By now you probably know that the odds of winning this weekend’s biggest ever Mega Millions jackpot were 1 in 176 million.
And the odds of being struck by lightning? 1 in an estimated 750,000, depending on the season and your location, according to statistics from the National Weather Service.
Now, put them together. What do you think the odds are of being struck by lightning just hours after buying tickets for that historic Mega Millions jackpot? No word on that, but the victim, Bill Isles of Wichita, Kansas, is alive, well and grateful for his life.
On Thursday, Isles bought three tickets for the historic $656 million jackpot, then remarked to a friend, “I’ve got a better chance of getting struck by lightning” than winning the lottery, Reuters news agency reported.
A few hours later, Isles was proved right.
According to Reuters, the 48-year-old volunteer spotter with the National Weather Service was in his backyard with a ham radio checking the skies for storm activity when he saw a flash, heard a boom and was thrown to the ground. He’d been hit by lightning.
“It kind of scrambled my brain and gave me an irregular heartbeat,” he told Reuters.
Fortunately, he didn’t suffer any burns or other serious damage.
The next day, he had a friend buy him 10 additional tickets, Reuters added.
One winning ticket was sold in Kansas — but it wasn’t Isles who bought it. Two jackpot winners were sold in Maryland and Illinois.