## Archive for February 5, 2012

### Super Bowl Math (and Results of the Super Bowl Squares Online Contest)

There were a lot of interesting mathematical things that happened tonight.

First things first: Big props to Valerie Strauss of The Answer Sheet, who asked, “Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning: Who’s Smarter?” and then was smart enough to link to one of my previous posts when trying to answer the question.

Math Incident #1

Within the first five minutes of coverage, it was announced that the NFC had won 14 consecutive coin tosses. Posted on the screen:

Odds: 1 in 16,384

I was a little bummed that it didn’t say, “Odds: 1 in 2^{14}.” But I can’t complain. It’s not every day that probability gets international publicity.

Math Incident #2

With just under 4:00 left in the game, Wes Welker dropped a pass from Tom Brady. During the replay, Cris Collinsworth said that it was a pass that Welker makes “100 times out of 100.” Um, Cris, in case you missed it… I don’t know how many passes just like this that Wes Welker has caught, but he missed this one, so we have at least one data point showing that, in fact, he doesn’t always catch this pass. If you want to revise your statement to “99 out of 100,” I could live with that.

Super Bowl Squares Online Contest

The results of the Super Bowl Squares Online Contest have been posted at http://mathjokes4mathyfolks.com/super-bowl-squares-results.html. But allow me to spoil some of your fun before you click that link:

- There were no winners for the first quarter score (Patriots 0, Giants 9; winning square, 9‑0).
- There were no winners for the second quarter score (Patriots 10, Giants 9; winning square, 9‑0).
- There were no winners for the third quarter score (Patriots 17, Giants 15; winning square, 7‑5).
- There were
**two**winners in the fourth quarter (Patriots 17, Giants 21; winning square, 7‑1).

That means that Ben Morris and Tom Coffin were the only winners of the 31 participants, so they split the $155 pool of Monopoly money, each receiving $77.50.