Vol 5.8 "What are the odds?" July 18, 2006

Dear Friends,

Its July 18th 9:30 a.m. For what feels like the one thousandth time, my wife and I sat down last night to
watch a good ‘whodunit’ on 48 Hours Mystery. I should point out that it’s not hard to find murder
mysteries these days. The Oxygen channel has a show called ‘Snapped,’ about women who murder
their husbands; Court T.V. has someone facing death row practically 24-7. Dateline, Prime Time
Live and 20/20 do more than their fair share to keep serving up bodies to the morgue for our
fascination. I’m told in business that sex sells. Well sex, murder and life sentences must pack
them in better than NASCAR and the Super Bowl all rolled into one! I don’t even have to be in
the room to know my wife has switched on another murder mystery. All I have to be is within
shouting distance of the T.V. set and hear the narrators opening salvo, ‘They lead an ideal life.
They seemed to have it all, the house, the jewelry, and the fancy cars when it all just went
suddenly wrong!’ Add in CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, Sopranos and ShowTime’s New Brotherhood and a
sweet adorable guy like me might start thinking he’s going to get whacked! What are the odds
that a nice law abiding citizen in the US could get snuffed? And, if I was curious about the
odds of being murdered, then maybe there were other people who had the same morbid curiosity. And
as the community watch dog that I am, I did a little research to see if we needed to be concerned
about being ‘Six Feet Under’ before our time (an old HBO series) or more concerned about our waistline.

Here’s what I came up with. There are approximately 300 million people in the United States. Of these,
every year 16,666.66 will meet their maker because they will be murdered. It comes to 1 out of every
18,000. Burr’¦. Creepy huh? Even all those 6’s kind of gives me the willies! But before I allowed myself
to totally creep out and live the rest of my life as a shut-in, I wanted to know if 1 in 18,000 was a big
deal. So I looked into some other off'”the-wall statistics to compare my murder stats against. Earth
has a 1 in 5,000 chance that it will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100
years. You have a 1 in 7,000 chance of being considered possessed by Satan. I guess if you were Ken
Lay you have a 100% chance of meeting him. You have a 1 in 9,380 chance of dying from self-harm; a
1 in 11,500 chance of winning an academy award; a 1 in 11,000 chance of winning the Medal of
Honor and a 1 in ten million chance of being President of the United States. This must be a typo,
how did Bush get in?

So when you think about it, except for being President (I still doubt the validity of the number) you are
more likely to go to war; win the Congressional Medal of Honor; take your new fame and parlay it into a
movie career where you will go on to win an academy award (followed by envious contempt from the
other actors you beat out that they will think you made a deal with the devil or are the devil
himself); followed by being type cast lose all your fame and fortune and do bodily harm to yourself
as the earth is slammed with an asteroid than being murdered! Now, doesn’t that make you feel
better? Oh, one more stat for the road. The odds of you becoming a saint are 1 in 20,000,000. So
don’t be so hard on yourself.

Talk to you next time,
Fred

The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the world’s top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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