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IRS Hard Disk Crashes: What Are the Odds?

Posted on July 17, 2014

This has gone viral.

The odds of winning the Florida lottery are 1 in 22,957,480.

The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 175,223,510.

The odds of winning Mega Millions are 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 is 37 to the 7th power = 1 in 78,664,164,096. (that’s over 78 Billion) 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.

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16 thoughts on “IRS Hard Disk Crashes: What Are the Odds?

  1. Phillip the Bruce says:

    Coincidence? There is no such thing. If we let the gunverment get away with this, we deserve whatever we get.

  2. Stuart Shepherd says:

    We've been "letting them get away" with so many things for so long- we've been voting for it!- that we already deserve what we're already getting and ABOUT to get that realy, really, really is not going to be pretty when the dollar crashes and we've been too busy trying to ensure transgender rights.

  3. hoffhack says:

    I can promise you that Trey Gowdy is not swallowing any of this (rap!!! Don't be surprised to see Lois Lerner in an orange jump suit soon! And this would go a long way to bolster the Republicans for November! They should cut funds to the bone for the IRS, BLM and DOJ, And the Governors of every border State should declare a state of emergency and put the State Militia on the Border.

  4. Holy Shirt says:

    What must crash is America's "2-party system" provided nowhere in a constitutional republic woefully unprepared for it!

  5. Holy Shirt says:

    Trey Gowdy? Sent by John Boner to rescue America? Theatrics have long deceived America's unwashed masses. Long before anyone had ever heard of them, they were foreseen by America's most-talented. Meet Republican and Democrat 'saviours' destroying America from the inside: http://youtu.be/4lakGlwl9u0 http://youtu.be/upvZdVK913l

  6. Holy Shirt says:

    Trey Gowdy? Sent by John Boner to rescue America? Theatrics have long deceived America's unwashed masses. Long before anyone had ever heard of them, they were foreseen by America's most-talented. Meet the Republican and Democrat saviours destroying America from the inside:

    View "There's No Business Like Show Business" from 'Annie Get Your Gun'
    and "The New Sheriff Scene" from 'Blazing Saddles'

    (Discerning the upper-case 'I' [i] from the lower-case 'l' [L] can be impossible in many fonts).

  7. Marc Jeric says:

    “Now we know that not only Lois Lerner’s hard drive, but six other people intimately involved in this IRS crime had suddenly found their computers crashed in an amazing miraculous coincidence – all without any possibility of recovery. Important religions have been founded on less.” So declared George Will.

  8. Alternatively, you can look at it this way.

    IRS claims that "disk crashes are not unusual–'we' had 2,000 of them last year." IRS has 100,000 employees. The chances of any one disk drive failure is 2000/100000 = .02. The chances of JUST THESE SEVEN disk drive crashes is

    .02 to the seventh power. I won't bother to compute it.


  9. Left out of all the hoopla is the fact that since 2009 the IRS has had a contract with a company called Sonasoft to do email backups. In fact, IRS is listed as one of its biggest government clients. Sonasoft’s CEO in the past has even tweeted to the world that “if the IRS trusts us with their emails, why shouldn’t your company?”

    Does Darrell Issa’s committee not know that?

  10. Bama Bill says:

    But with Obama, Reid, and Holder, and their cronies, the odds are as good that a Mexican Mafia member will confess when arrested! They are all scurrying about destroying evidence and stone walling. Obama said "Most Transparent", and he told the truth! I can see right through him!

  11. David in MA says:

    Maybe the government employees should not go to sex sites and pick up STD's ( viruses)?

  12. David in MA says:

    Maybe Sonasoft has a whistleblower in their midst?



  14. Old1Glory says:

    I just ordered the book "The Manchurian President". It would be a good read for you folks out there to brush up on HOW this mess happened to our country! I think we the American people have been duped BIG TIME. Also see the movie just out AMERICA by Dinesh Dzousa. From all my research, he hits the nail on the head.

  15. Derick Moore says:

    I'm fairly sure that 1 in 36 is a very high estimate for hard drive failure. I write code in support of hard drives, and have for over 30 years. I generally have between 20 and 40 drives in my cubicle at a time. I know it is only anecdotal, but I generally see about 3 failures per year, and those are very frequently the newest drives (leading edge) from various OEM. Once you get past the 'early life failures', most drives are very stable for many years. It is far more common to dump a drive because its capacity has made it obsolete, than because it failed.

    So, my conclusion is that a more likely estimate is someplace in the range of 1 in a 100, and it could be higher.

    Break in my typing – I went online looking for 'hard drive failure rates'. A PC World article seems to support my numbers and then some. 3 years, 33 drives, and 1 failure was an average for a Hitachi drive. That would convert to 1/36th of a drive failure per month, two orders of magnitude better than listed in this post.

    So, using 'MY' numbers, I'm inclined to think the odds are more like 100,000,000,000,000 to one. That's 100 trillion to one, or you're 386,000 times more likely to win Mega Millions than have 7 drives fail.

    Now, a useful question. How many 'other' drives failed, and were replaced, in the same period at the IRS?

    (And, how many of those failures resulted in complete loss of important data?)

  16. Mr. Moore, Someone voted these people into office, or voted for those that appointed these people into thir offices…