flowers at bomb site mar 22 1993

Terrorism: What are the Odds?

May 25, 2016 | Nick Taylor

According to the internet* the odds against losing your life as a result of a terrorist attack are more than nine million to one, whereas the odds of winning the UK National Lottery jackpot are now a little over forty-five million to one. So are we almost five times more likely to die at the hands of terrorists than win the National Lottery?

In this blog, Foundation team member, Tracy Holland looks at the odds and the facts and suggests how you can help.

The chances of being killed by terrorists in the UK are low in comparison to other parts of the world, but unfortunately it’s not that straightforward. No one measures the exact number of people affected by a terrorist attack because it is impossible to do so. For every person that dies as direct result of terrorism there are tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of other victims – friends, family (even those not yet born), bystanders, onlookers whose past trauma is revived by media coverage, those who by mere chance defied the odds by being elsewhere yet cannot cope with their good fortune. In truth, no one who reads this will be wholly unaffected by terrorism because we hear about it and see it on the news and it permeates our subconscious – we look twice at strangers and eye innocent baggage suspiciously if it spends even a moment at the owner’s feet. It has become a fact of life, but we can all improve the odds.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace engages with communities and individuals to stop radicalisation – to terminate acts of terror before they are even conceived. And our Survivors Assistance Network helps victims to rebuild their lives, however long it takes. We use no yardstick to measure who is in need of support, we help everyone who reaches out to us. If we do not have appropriate resources available we help them to find support elsewhere. It’s impossible to know what might have been without our intervention, but there is no doubt that our work is effective, and with your help it will continue to be so.

Our lottery provides a small but steady income – 50p from every £1 comes directly to us. Please will you commit £1 per week to enable us to increase the odds against terrorism and manage the impact on individuals? Each week you’ll have the chance to win £25,000, and there are smaller prizes too of £1,000, £25 and £5. To sign up, collect a lottery leaflet from the Peace Centre, or send your postal address by email to  or by telephone on 01925 581232 and we will post one to you.

If you prefer to make a single donation, please use the Donate Now button – together we can change the odds.

*Sources: Techjuice Playlotto