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I am reading a book that explains the mathematics behind coincidences experienced in our daily lives. In one example, the author derives that the chance that you will at least once experience one of a set of 100 rare events (each with a one-in-million chance of occurring on any day) in a period of 20 years is as high as 52%. I understand this part completely.

What stumps me is the author’s following comment: It means that for every 20 people you know, there is a greater than 50% chance that one of them will have an amazing story to tell during the course of a year.

My questions are:

1. Is the author using the 1 of 20 phrase, to indicate a 95% confidence interval (19 out of 20 times)?

2. How the author expects one of a group of 20 to experience a coincidence in a year’s time?

Thanks,

MG.