World Cup squads and the Birthday Paradox

World Cup squads and the Birthday Paradox
By Mark Mason on 16-05-18 10:28. Comments (0)
England's squad for the 2018 World Cup is being announced today. 23 players will make the trip to Russia - and coincidentally 23 is also the number at which the chance of two people sharing a birthday reaches 50 per cent. In fact it's a shade over: 50.73 per cent. Yes, you read that right - with just 23 people gathered together, it's more likely than not that two of them will have the same birthday.

Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Articles

< Previous 1 Next >

Other pages in this section...




Inspired by my book Walk the Lines: the London Underground - Overground, each of these trivia-packed walks uncovers London’s history by following a section of a Tube line ... at street level.


Tailor made quizzes

Magical Thinking

Learning magic tricks to expand your brain's potential


Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.