Million-to-one chance

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In the fragile reality of Discworld, and with the gods who like to play games, a million-to-one chance succeeds nine times out of ten.

Traditionally, one has to say "it's a million-to-one chance, but it might just work!" to invoke this rule. It also has to be exactly a million to one - none of this fiddly "995,351 to 1" business, or whatever other number you might end up with. So while the list of things that people have accomplished with million to one chances is quite impressive, the list of things they have failed to accomplish with odds a few percentage points off in either direction is probably a lot longer and involves a lot more fatalities.

The deity of the Million-to-one chance (and all the other ones as well) is The Lady. Just... don't invoke her directly.

In Eric it is a million to one chance that Rincewind will escape the Dungeon Dimensions.

In The Last Hero Ponder Stibbons employs the million to one chance to rescue the kite.

The Lady may be the Anthropomorphic personification of Million-to-one chances.

In Guards! Guards! Fred Colon, Carrot Ironfoundersson and Nobby Nobbs try to invoke the million-to-one chance to hit the dragon in the right spot to kill it. To ensure it is million-to-one, rather then something else, they end up trying a whole bunch of improbable circumstances to make it work. It doesn't work, unfortunately, so it must not have been quite a million-to-one chance...

Also see the Billion-to-One Chance.

Million-to-one chances that came off nine times out of ten:-

The Great God Om in Small Gods:- "Landed on a pile of dirt in your garden. That's eagles for you. Whole place made of rock and paved with rock and built on a big rock, and they miss."

"That was lucky. Million-to-one chance!" said Brutha.

There is also a racehorse with this name. The owners knew what they are doing: the odds on victory must be 1,000,000/1. But this horse wins nine times out of ten. Stewards' inquiries are pending, however. Prudent bookies point out that in this special instance of probability, the odds on this horse winning are effectively 1/1 and that's exactly what you're getting, guvnor. put a dollar on, get a dollar back, next customer please!

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