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One in a Quarter Million Odds: After Fifty Years, All Members of This High School Rugby Team Are Still Alive


Fifty years ago, the rugby team of the Portsmouth Grammar School in Hampshire, UK posed for a photo. They went their separate ways, but all sixteen members survived the years and returned to update their picture. The odds were astronomical:

The odds of all of the original first team being alive to meet for the milestone anniversary was worked out at 256,000 to one. [...]

The old boys met the school's current first 15 rugby team and watch them play against Churchers College, from Petersfield, Hants.

In a bid to create a legacy and encourage current teams to stay in touch, the 1962 team presented the current team with a trophy - a rugby ball which they had all signed.

Link | Photo: Portsmouth Grammar School Archive/Solent News


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Since they are all around 67 or 68 years old and the average UK male lives to the age of 78, where do these odds of 250,000-1 come from? Also take into account that children from better financial backgrounds tend to live longer too - the school is an expensive private school. And they played rugby, so that would set them on a healthier path in life anyway. Lastly, we don't get to hear if any other school teams have similarly survived - since there are nowhere near 250,000 schools in the UK, is it really so rare?
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