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  • D. Randall Faro

Chances Are

CHANCES ARE


A not-well-known fact is that 47.7% of all statistics are made up. But not the following ones.


Of the 150,000 eggs a giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) lays, only 2 in 100,000 survive to mature adulthood. At 002%, chances are slim for any particular 8-legged little one to make it.


Americans collectively receive about 2.4 billion "robocalls" per month. Chances are good for getting one.


Out of 75,000 employees, there are more than 6,000 dogs registered to come to work with Amazon employees at the company's Seattle office. That means one has an 8% chance of meeting one of those employees walking their dog at lunchtime.


Americans drive a combined 2.6 trillion miles annually. Chances are very good that some of that rubber laid down on the road is yours.


Figures from the Hass Avocado Board reveal that Americans consume a jaw-dropping 4.25 billion avocados annually. No wonder no one under the age of 35 can buy a house! Chances are good you dip guacamole occasionally.


Business certainly is hopping for the beer industry. The National Beer Wholesalers Association reports that the average over-21 American drinks some 25 gallons of cold ones annually. Chances are you burped.


The thickness from ear to ear of the Statue of Liberty measures exactly 10 feet. But one might think twice before going up against Poncho Via, a 7-year-old Texas longhorn hailing from a farm in Alabama who has horns that stretch 10 feet, 7.4 inches — making his horn span twice the width of a concert grand piano. Chances are good that’s a world record.


Data reported by the American Apparel & Footwear Association found that 98% of shoes sold in the United States are imported. Chances are excellent you’re walking around in Chinese or French or Argentine sneakers.


The National Safety Council estimates that the likelihood of dying from a bee or wasp sting is one in 63,225. At .0015%, chances are excellent for dying of cancer or heart disease instead (14%).


When in 1996 Canada considered changing the name of the Northwest Territories, the public was asked for their input and the name "Bob" became the second most popular choice. Didn’t make it. In 1999 the eastern portion became Nunavut with the capital, Iqaluit, on Baffin Island. Chances are good that the western portion will (and does) remain Northwest Territories.


If you're the kind of person who appreciates variety and would love to taste-test a new type of apple every day of the week, then you're in for a decades-long endeavor. It would take you more than 20 years to try each of the 7,500 varieties of apples in the world. Chances are excellent you won’t take up the challenge.


Finally . . . what are the chances you’ve heard Johnny Mathis sing his 1957 release, “Chances Are"?


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