Tag: biological effects

Stochastic Effects of Radiation


To try and give some perspective of stochastic health effects, think of it as getting struck by lightning, or winning the lottery. Getting struck by lightning is a stochastic effect of being outdoors. Flying a kite during a lightning storm will increase your probability of being struck, but even then it cannot be predicted for certain that this will happen. Occasionally, lightning strikes when there is no storm. The national weather service reported 28 lightning fatalities in 2012 in the US. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, your chances of being struck by lightning are 1 in 280,000. Winning the lottery is a stochastic effect of playing the lottery. According to lottery officials, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are about 1 in 176 million, making winning the lottery very unlikely for an individual.

Zippy Vonier of Thomasville, Georgia bought a quick pick ticket years ago. Then he kept playing those numbers over and over again, week after week, year after year. On November 27, 2012, Zippy’s numbers matched the winning numbers for the Mega Millions jackpot. He won $50 million.

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