• Question: If there are 85 students in a statistics class and we assume that there are 365 days in a year, what is the probability that at least two students in the class have the same birthday (assuming birthdays are distributed independently)?

    Asked by bobblehead to Cathal on 21 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Cathal Cummins

      Cathal Cummins answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Good question — the chances are EXTREMELY high. That at least two share the same birthday, the chances are




      How close is that to certainty? Well suppose certainty is represented by a metre stick — 0cm being impossible and 100cm being certainty. How far away from the 100cm mark would we be? We would be less than a human hair’s width from the 100cm mark!!

      A more interesting number than 85 is 87 people because 87 people in a room is the number of people needed to give a 0.5 (i.e. a flip of a coin) chance that at least THREE people share the same birthday. 🙂