Coincidence?
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The idea of this exercise is to help people become aware that some events are not as coincidental as they may at first seem. Tell the participants that you will be asking them to find the person in the room whose birthday is nearest to their own, but before they do that, ask them to write down what they think the chances are of someone finding a person who celebrates their birthday on the same day of the year as they do. When the mingling stops, ask what they originally thought the chances were of two people having the same birthday were. Capture the responses on a flip chart. Also ask whether anybody now wants to change their mind. The statistical chances of two people sharing the same birthday depend on the number of people in the group. If the group has 24 people, there is a better that 50 per cent chance. (Also see What a Coincidence!). |
Additional information
The statistical chances of two people sharing the same birthday depend on the number of people in the group. The following table gives you the chances for different group sizes:
Group size | Probability |
4 | 2% |
6 | 4% |
8 | 7% |
10 | 12% |
12 | 17% |
15 | 25% |
20 | 41% |
23 | 50% |
26 | 59% |
28 | 65% |
30 | 70% |
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