The Mathematics of Coincidence

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Ever seen something happen in your life that is just too random and unlikely to be anything but a coincidence?

NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast recently did a piece on the mathematics behind coincidence.  And can you believe that somebody shared it with me and now I’m sharing it with you?  What are the odds?

Listen here:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/495671322/495671323

BADGING:

Listen to the podcast above.  Explain in a paragraph the mathematics behind the woman who won the lottery four times.  How did the mathematician explain how the odds went from “incomprehensible” to simply “exceedingly unlikely”?  In a second paragraph explain an event in your own life that appeared “coincidental”;  come up with a mathematical explanation/hypothesis of why it might not be such an unlikely occurrence after all.

 

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