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For many of us, bracket pools are commonplace among our friends, families and co-workers. But what are the odds of nailing a perfect NCAA bracket?
Though some news outlets have reported the likelihood of perfection at roughly 1 in 9.2 quintillion, this figure is skewed. It assumes that everyone filling out their bracket does so with a basic “coin flip” method for each game, which of course is not how people go about it.
There are simply too many factors in bracketology to determine universally true odds of perfection. Between team loyalties, superstitions and the like, it could be impossible to calculate an absolute probability. With that said, many mathematicians have cited 1 in 128 billion as a near figure. Still, those aren’t exactly the best odds. With that in mind, take a look at these 10 events, which are all more likely to happen than you getting a perfect bracket:
Cue the theme music from Jaws. Although a shark attack is still improbable, you’re far more likely to experience one than a perfect NCAA bracket. The odds of a shark attack fall right around 1 in 11.5 million.
Here’s a fun one. Let’s say you select a person at random from the entire population. Your odds of that person being one of the eight people alive who have walked on the moon are higher than your odds of a perfect bracket. The odds of this are roughly 1 in 872 million.
Any poker enthusiast has dreamed of the thrill of getting a royal flush. Very few, however, have experienced it, as this event occurs only once in every 649,740 rounds of the game. Those are still considerably better odds than the perfect bracket, though.
For all our hoops fans with a political bent, this one’s for you. The likelihood of picking a perfect bracket is equivalent to correctly picking the winning party for each presidential election between now and 2264.
Go Cubs go
Jeff Bergen, a mathematics professor at DePaul University, did some Chicago-style math on the odds of a perfect bracket. Apparently, either the Chicago Cubs or the White Sox winning the next 16 World Series is more likely than selecting every NCAA tournament game’s winner accurately.
Hail to the chief
Your odds of becoming the President of the United States — yes, you read that correctly — are roughly 1 in 10 million.
This one could be a bit deflating to certain people. The odds of any given high school basketball player making it to the NBA are roughly 1 in 6.9 million. Follow your dreams!
As long as we’re on the subject of how to win money … The odds of blindly reaching into your wallet and removing a $1 bill with a serial number of “KER” are about 1 in 33 billion.
Death by cola
Don’t ask us how you could even end up in this situation, but the odds of a vending machine falling on you and killing you are about 1 in 112 million.
Sweet child(ren) of mine
For many parents, having one kid is blessing enough, and two at a time is nothing short of a miracle. Believe it or not, though, the odds of having identical quintuplets are staggeringly low, at about 1 in 13 million.
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