Man once struck by lightning now strikes lottery

Man once struck by lightning now strikes lottery
LUCKY: Mr Peter McCathie and Ms Diana Miller with their winning cheque.
PHOTO: Youtube screengrab

The odds of getting struck by lightning in Canada are less than one in a million.

The odds of winning the Atlantic Lotto 6/49 are even worse - one in 13,983,816.

And the odds that both of these extraordinary events should happen to the same person in Nova Scotia, a province on the eastern part of Canada, are nearly impossible.

But Mr Peter McCathie beat all those odds to win the C$1 million (S$1.1 million) top prize with a co-worker, Ms Diana Miller, CTV News reported. He will also get an additional C$10,000 because he owns the store from where they bought the C$3 ticket.

Both events - being struck by lightning and winning a lottery - combined come to about a one in 2.6 trillion chance.

The 1 in 2.6 trillion calculation comes from combining the lottery odds, lightning odds and the odds that Mr McCathie's daughter was struck by lightning as well, which happened a few years ago, University of Moncton mathematics professor Sophie Leger told ABC News.

Ms Leger worked through the equation, noting that she did not know the exact number of lottery tickets Mr McCathie has bought in his lifetime, to come up with the near-impossible odds.

"It's almost not possible, but it did happen," she said. "It shows that anything can happen in life."

Mr McCathie said he plans to use the winnings to take his wife of 30 years on a second honeymoon.


His first brush with death happened when he was 14 years old and wading through shallow waters.

He told CTV: "I was trying to lock the boat up, it was a very sunny day, there was one big, white cloud in the sky and the lightning bolt came through the trees and hit me."

His daughter was also struck by lightning a few years ago, while working as a wilderness guide.

Mr McCathie and Ms Miller had been buying lottery tickets for about a year, but never imagined they would defy the odds. "I honestly expected to get hit by lightning again first," he told CTV.

This article was first published on July 23, 2015.
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