Towanda A. Shields, 47, seems to lack an understanding of the odds in a standard lottery but found a way to dramatically increase her odds of securing free long-term housing. Shields was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill state lottery officials in an outburst of frustration with her lack of success.
Shields is described as “completely obsessed with the lottery.” Police say that she made “very graphic and vulgar” threats by phone and on voice mails between April and December 2016. She is now charged with three counts of terroristic threats and 25 counts each of harassment and stalking.
Once again, we have been discussing the use of “terrorism” charges for what were once conventional crimes like criminal threats. This seems like a good example.
As for Shields’ shaky hold on statistics, it is worth noting that the odds of winning a six number lottery is roughly 1 in 14 million.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions multi-state lottery? 1 in almost 176 million!
The odds of being convicted for leaving recorded threats against lottery officials? 100 percent.