What Are The Odds? 9 Things Less Likely To Happen Than A Nationwide Power Cut

It’s never happened before and it’s unlikely to ever happen. But are the odds of the UK’s electricity network experiencing a complete shutdown?

According to the government’s official National Risk Register, there’s a 1-in-200 likelihood of a nationwide blackout happening in the next five years.

That’s still just a 0.5% chance.

But compare those odds to other improbable incidents and you’ll learn that a grid failure isn’t outside the realms of possibility…  

Let’s take a look at a few events that are far less likely to happen than a major blackout (plus a couple that are actually much more probable).

Lottery Luck

There are various national lottery schemes that have the power to transform several lucky winners into millionaires overnight.

But the actual odds of netting the jackpot on the UK National Lottery are a whopping 1-in-14 million.

And it’s even worse if you fancy getting your hands on a £100 million-plus EuroMillions jackpot… The odds on winning that lottery are 1-in-140 million.

euromillions lottery ticket with a pen and a cup of coffee in a Lavaza branded mug
FANCY YOUR CHANCES? The odds suggest a UK-wide power failure is much more likely than a big lottery win

Sporting Success

Fancy yourself or your child as a future footballing star? A nine-year-old boy today has a 1-in-100 chance of going on to have a career as a professional player.

If golf’s your game, you might be interested to know that there’s a 1-in-12,000 probability the average swinger will bag a hole in one during their lifetime.

For comparison, the odds on a professional golfer scoring an ace drop to a still rare 1-in-3,000.

lower body of a golfer swinging a club and hitting a ball off the fairway
TAKE A SHOT: Achieving a hole-in-one out on the golf course is far less likely to happen than a complete power grid failure

While the likelihood of you topping the podium and winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is a lofty 1-in-662,000.

If sports aren’t your thing, but you enjoy acting out on the stage and screen, you’ve got a 1-in-11,500 chance of Oscar-winning immortality at the Academy Awards.

Rocky Road

If you live in the UK, statistics show you’ve got a 1-in-240 lifetime chance of dying in a road traffic accident. The odds increase to a 1-in-20,000 chance of dying on the nation’s roads in a particular year.

Accident on dangerous trunk route in icy, hazardous conditions, UK
CRASHING REALITY: You’ve more chance of meeting your maker on the nation’s roads than the country’s electricity grid going down

Life Or Death

Let’s start this section with some (relatively) good news. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, there’s approximately a 1-in-10 chance that a man in the UK will live to the age of 100.

We’re pretty sure it won’t put you off your holidays, but the likelihood of dying in an aeroplane crash is a sky-high 1-in-11 million.

That’s even less probable than meeting your maker after being struck down by lightning (1-in-10 million).

Gun control is a hugely controversial topic in the United States of America.

So perhaps it will come as little surprise to learn that if you live in the USA, you’ve got a 1-in-285 chance of being killed by a firearm.

table from the Blackout report explaining the odds of things less likely than a UK-wide power cut
FANCY YOUR CHANCES? A UK-wide electricity failure in the next 5 years is far more likely than winning the lottery or hitting a hole in 1 on the golf course

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