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What Are the Odds?

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If you’re like me, you’re mortally afraid of rattlesnakes, fireworks, and hot tap water, but you just don’t know which one you should be most afraid of. Thankfully, the National Safety Council comes to the rescue with a handy table called “What are the odds of dying?” that will either reassure or horrify you, depending on your particular phobia. Unsurprisingly, cars, guns, and “noxious substances” are among the greatest dangers. But snake and lizard-fearers, rejoice—chances are slim that you’ll be killed by a venomous reptile (1 in 1,241,661 lifetime odds). And don’t fret too much about that big Fourth of July celebration: your odds are about 1 in 744,997 of being killed by fireworks discharge. But next time you fill the tub, keep it cool: your lifetime odds of death from contact with hot tap water are just 1 in 93,125.

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