I live in South Florida, otherwise known as the lightning storm capital of the world.
Several years ago, lightning hit the pole behind the house. We know it hit that pole because the top of the pole caught fire, in addition to damaging some of the power-company equipment. In my neighbors house, every single electrical device got completely fried. In my house, the only damage was one of the heating elements in the hot-water heater. Not even a light bulb.
I have always has surge protectors on literally everything that could be protected. One under each desk. One under each TV and stereo. One behind the microwave in the kitchen. One behind the refrigerator. The washing machine. Literally, every 110 volt plug in the house. For the computers, the UPS units were even plugged into surge protectors.
After the first lighting strike, I decided I didn't want to buy a new hot water heater again so soon. And, I wanted to protect a few other 220-volt things. So, I found a "whole house surge protector" and got it installed. The thing attaches to the breaker panel at the service entrance. It has varisters on all 6 pairs from ( +, -, neutral, ground ), and it weighs about ten pounds. And, I upgraded some of the little surge protectors to UPSs, for the non-computer devices that we don't like to reboot very often, like the TVs.
Two years later, we had another lightning strike. This one hit the same pole, which caught fire again. My house had no damage at all. Nothing. Three other houses on the street got everything fried, again.
After that, I read up on surge protectors. Turns out, all of the varisters in a circuit work in parallel to protect the whole circuit. If you have a hundred varisters on the (+, ground) path in your hours, even though they are divided into a couple dozen different boxes, the current from a surge on the + conductor flows through all of them in parallel to reach ground.
Seems I may be guilty of overkill on the surge protection. All total, I probably spent close to $1000 on surge protectors. But then, I haven't had to buy any new appliances after lightning strikes, either.