A year and a half ago I first posted on a very common misconception regarding thunder and lightning. It's a big misconception that the number of seconds between the lightning and thunder is equal to the distance in miles to the strike. The strike is actually 5 times closer! For full details read the original post here:
Thunder/Lightning Distance Misconception
There's also another misconception that a human struck by lightning almost always dies. This is simply not the case. I'm not advocating that you go out and get struck by lightning, but your odds of surviving a lightning strike is much greater than 0%. Here's an excellent page on lightning strike facts.
Lightning Strike Facts
Your odds of surviving a lightning strike are actually quite high. Only approximately 10% of people struck by lightning die from the lightning strike. Granted, many of these people are seriously injured and up to 70% suffer long term effects from the strike, but 90% live to tell the story.
That 90% survival rate is quite impressive in my opinion. A bolt of lightning carries 100 million volts, compared to a 120 volts from a typical wall outlet in the U.S. In addition, lightning super-heats the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Given those numbers it's amazing that anyone survives a lightning strike, let alone 90%!
So what are your odds of getting struck by lightning? Given an 80 year lifetime, your odds are 1 in 3,000 at some point in your life. Much higher than one might expect, but still very unlikely.