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Everyone has a one in 200 chance of making a million - but it won't be through X-Factor or the Lottery

Around one in 200 businesses will go on to make one million pounds within just two years of starting up. The odds of having a glittering pop career, playing international football or winning a reality TV show are, to say the least, far longer. According to a leading bookmaker*, the chances of the average man or woman on the street making it rich through showbiz or sport are decidedly slim. The chance of winning the X-factor next time around is a massive 1,000,000:1, even if you don’t have any discernible talent, the odds of winning Big Brother are still 500,000:1. Even for those with genuine talent, succeeding in show-business is potentially much tougher than more traditional business. For example, the likelihood of ‘Joe Bloggs’ hitting the coveted number one chart slot at Christmas is 1,000,000:1. The odds of following in Wayne Rooney’s footsteps and scoring a million-pound-a-year contract in the Premier League are more favourable at 400,000:1, whilst becoming the next Kate Moss with a lucrative modelling contract is 200,000:1. John Davis, marketing director for Barclays Local Business said: “This research confirms that although running your own business might not seem quite so glamorous as show business and sport, hard work and determination in traditional business is much more likely to be rewarded by real tangible success. In comparison, hitting the jackpot in so-called glamour industries clearly has a lot more to do with luck. Whilst many young people dream of pursuing a career in music, football or films, it seems that starting a business is a far better bet to achieve an ‘A-lister’ lifestyle. “The sheer volume of successful start up businesses in the UK today should encourage more budding entrepreneurs to follow their business aspirations in order to achieve their ambitions. Indeed, where money-making is concerned, it is the business brains behind the ‘X Factor’ and ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ who are really cashing in. X Factor judge Simon Cowell’s business acumen has recently earned him a place on the Forbes Rich List, with his earnings now tipping the scales at an estimated £100 million.” Further ‘rags to riches’ odds quoted by William Hill for the average person, are:
  • 13,800,000:1 to win the national lottery jackpot
  • 100,000,000:1 to uncover a masterpiece in the attic worth one million pounds
  • 100,000:1 to scoop the jackpot on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’