From my buddy, Slick… The IRS and statistical probabilities:
The odds of winning the Florida lottery are 1 in 22,957,480.
The odds of winning the Powerball is 1 in 175,223,510.
The odds of winning Mega Millions is 1 in 258,890,850.
The odds of a disk drive failing in any given month are roughly one in 36. The odds of two different drives failing in the same month are roughly one in 36 squared, or 1 in about 1,300. The odds of three drives failing in the same month is 36 cubed or 1 in 46,656.
The odds of seven different drives failing in the same month (like what happened at the IRS when they received a letter asking about emails targeting conservative and groups) is 37 to the 7th power = 1 in 78,664,164,096. In other words, the odds are greater that you will win the Florida Lottery 342 times than having those seven IRS hard drives crashing in the same month.
Another interesting observation — there were seven workers involved whose drives “failed”. Why have we not yet learned their names, seen the trouble reports showing the dates and nature of the failures, and the results of attempts to recover the files at that time (the law requires federal agencies to maintain this information)?.