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October 30, 2020

# #2379: Probability Comparisons

[Large heading, centered.]

Probability Comparisons

[Left column.]

0.01% You guess the last four digits of someone’s social security number on the first try

0.1% Three randomly chosen people are all left-handed

0.2% You draw 2 random Scrabble tiles and get M and M

You draw 3 random M&Ms and they’re all red

0.3% You guess someone’s birthday in one try.

0.5% An NBA team down by 30 at halftime wins

You get 4 M&Ms and they’re all brown or yellow

1% Steph Curry gets two free throws and misses both

LeBron James guesses your birthday, if each guess costs one free throw and he loses if he misses

1.5% You get two M&Ms and they’re both red

You share a birthday with a Backstreet Boy

2% You guess someone’s card on the first try

3% You guess 5 coin tosses and get them all right

Steph Curry wins that birthday free throw game

4% You sweep a 3-game rock paper scissors series

Portland, Oregon has a white Christmas

You share a birthday with two US Senators

5% An NBA team down 20 at halftime wins

You roll a natural 20

6% You correctly guess someone’s card given 3 tries

7% LeBron James gets two free throws and misses both

8% You correctly guess someone’s card given 4 tries

9% Steph Curry misses a free throw

10% You draw 5 cards and get the Ace of Spades

There’s a magnitude 8+ earthquake in the next month

11% You sweep a 2-game rock paper scissors series

12% A randomly-chosen American lives in California

You correctly guess someone’s card given 6 tries

You share a birthday with a US President

13% A d6 beats a d20

An NBA team down 10 going into the 4th quarter wins

You pull one M&M from a bag and it’s red

14% A randomly drawn scrabble tile beats a d6 die roll

15% You roll a d20 and get at least 18

16% Steph Curry gets two free throws but makes only one

17% You roll a d6 die and get a 6

18% A d6 beats or ties a d20

19% At least one person in a random pair is left-handed

20% You get a dozen M&Ms and none of them are brown

21% St. Louis has a white Christmas

22% An NBA team wins when they’re down 10 at halftime

23% You get an M&M and it’s blue

You share a birthday with a US senator

24% You correctly guess that someone was born in the winter

25% You correctly guess that someone was born in the fall

You roll two plain M&Ms and get M and M.

26% You correctly guess someone was born in the summer

27% LeBron James misses a free throw

32% Pittsburgh has a white Christmas

33% A randomly chosen Star Wars movie (Episodes I-IX) has “of the” in the title

You win the Monty Hall sports car by picking a door and refusing to switch

You win rock paper scissors by picking randomly

34% You draw five cards and get an ace

35% A random Scrabble tile is one of the letters in “random”

[Right column.]

39% LeBron James gets two free throws but misses one

40% A random Scrabble tile is a letter in “Steph Curry”

46% There’s a magnitude 7 quake in LA within 30 years

48% Milwaukee has a white Christmas

A random Scrabble tile is a letter in Carly Rae Jepsen

50% You get heads in a coin toss

53% Salt Lake City has a white Christmas

54% LeBron James gets two free throws and makes both

58% A random Scrabble tile is a letter in “Nate Silver”

60% You get two M&Ms and neither is blue

65% Burlington, Vermont has a white Christmas

66% A randomly chosen movie from the main Lord of the Rings trilogy has “of the” in the title twice

67% You roll at least a 3 with a d6

71% A random Scrabble tile beats a random dice roll

73% LeBron James makes a free throw

75% You drop two M&Ms and one of them ends with the “M” up so it’s clear they’re not Skittles

76% You get two M&Ms and neither is red

77% You get an an M&M and it’s not blue

78% An NBA team wins when they’re up 10 at halftime

79% St. Louis doesn’t have a white Christmas

81% Two random people are both right-handed

83% Steph Curry gets two free throws and makes both

85% You roll a d20 and get at least a 4

87% An NBA team up by 10 going into the 4th quarter wins

Someone fails to guess your card given 7 tries

88% A randomly chosen American lives outside California

89% You roll a 3 or higher given two tries

90% Someone fails to guess your card given 5 tries

91% You incorrectly guess that someone was born in August

Steph Curry makes a free throw

92% You guess someone’s birth month at random and are wrong

93% Lebron James makes a free throw given two tries

94% Someone fails to guess your card given 3 tries

95% An NBA team wins when they’re up 20 at halftime

96% Someone fails to guess your card given 2 tries

97% You try to guess 5 coin tosses and fail

98% You incorrectly guess someone’s birthday is this week

98.5% An NBA team up 15 points with 8 minutes left wins

99% Steph Curry makes a free throw given two tries

99.5% An NBA team that’s up by 30 points at halftime wins

99.7% You guess someone’s birthday at random and are wrong

99.8% There’s not a magnitude 8 quake in California next year

99.9% A random group of three people contains a right-hander

99.99% You incorrectly guess the last four digits of someone’s social security number

99.9999999999999995% You pick up a phone, dial a random 10-digit number, and say ‘Hello Barack Obama, there’s just been a magnitude 8 earthquake in California!" and are wrong

0.00000001% You add “Hang on, this is big — I’m going to loop in Carly Rae Jepsen”, dial another random 10-digit number, and she picks up

[In light grey colour and in the lower left corner there is text.]

Sources: https://xkcd.com/2379/sources/ [https://xkcd.com/2379/sources/]