It was a joke which remains an unhealthy obsession. 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything according to Douglas Adams, created a cottage industry in analysing the answer. You’d think that we’d be happy with that but we need to know more. We want to know whether life is out there and the chances are that any conversation about life being found on another planet will start out with, “What are the odds…?”
Betway Insider gives us the answers with their handy guide of the same name. It addresses the burning questions such as “Will Donald Trump be impeached?” or “Will my children turn out to have ginger hair?”. These, and many more which trouble our minds throughout our lives, are dealt with.
We take a look at five of those burning questions and find out the odds of them happening.
5.Getting into College
Betway odds: 8 out of 10
With the ‘A’ Level results issued, boys stood up to be counted and overtook girls for the first time since 2000. Not quite when Adam and Eve were spraying graffiti in the Garden of Eden.
Girls do better when coursework is needed, in art for example, but boys are finishing top in exam-driven subjects.
Can they keep it up when they get to college? Probably not but it’s all about partying at that point and they need to learn the important things in life, like how to impress a woman without spending a money. That’s the sort of education we need!
4.Will Donald Trump Be Impeached?
Betway odds: 8 out of 10
It’s more likely than a White Christmas, which is the sort of Christmas the Don enjoys.
Watching from afar, it feels like we’re rubbernecking as a crash is about to happen. The US lost control when Trump defeated Hilary Clinton – the odds of that were 1 in 3 (in a two-horse race) – and now we’re watching it career across the carriageway, hitting the central reservation and bouncing around the place.
Trump’s enemies repeatedly threaten impeachment – an impressive threat for an orange man – with his approval ratings continuing to plummet. Congressman Al Green – not that Al Green – tried to impeach Trump on 17th May but that move failed.
Instead, the Great and Good of American politics continue to feed Trump rope in the hope that he will hang himself. And the odds get shorter every day!
3.Will My Baby Be Born Ginger?
Betway odds: 1 in 35
It’s one of the first two questions asked when your child is born? If you’re lucky, you’ve established there is the right number of limbs, everything is in the right place and in full working order. There’s just one thing left to establish: is my baby a ginger? And if it is, can we do anything about it?
Not that being slightly more orange than strawberry blonde is necessarily a barrier to success – Benedict Cumberbatch is a natural ginger – although would you want your kids to be Paul Scholes or Ron Weasley?
The second question? “What colour is the milkman’s hair…?”
2.Will Earth be Hit by an Asteroid?
Betway odds: 1 out of 75,000
It’s not a job you’d want to take on after a while. Imagine being the scientist sat in NASA HQ when the count passes 74,950. It’s unlikely Bruce Willis would be able to pack his Zimmer frame into the spacecraft which was going to land on the asteroid.
Hopefully, the pilot of the craft will have better landing skills than Philae enjoyed in November 2014, which suffered when the harpoons which were supposed to anchor the craft to the comet 67P. Instead, it bounds and nestled in a cliff. Ibuprofen all round if that were repeated.
Betway odds: 1 in 1,000
Frankly, they’ve seen Elvis on the moon and watching an Earth-designed spacecraft approaching an asteroid as it headed toward the planet, would be too much to resist. There’s a strong chance they would help avert the disaster so long as there was chest with signed Bruce Springsteen vinyl on the craft.
Not that the boffins are having any of this. In 2008, Professor Andrew Watson declared that human beings evolved late in the Earth’s planetary-cycle, making “the likelihood of complex life and intelligence” extremely unlikely.
At 1 in 1,000, the odds of finding intelligent life on another planet remain better than those of finding intelligent life in the Bigg Market on a Friday night.