The odds of predicting a perfect March Madness bracket is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000-to-1, according to Dr. Jim Lakritz, statistician and information systems professor at San Diego State University.
If you’re wondering, that’s 10 quintillion.
By comparison, the odds of predicting the Super Bowl’s final score is much easier. Lakritz told Reuters that he once estimated the odds at no better than 400-to-1. Even then, that’s assuming you start with a realistic range of what the score could actually be.
Which most people don’t.
Why is this relevant? Because over the next few days, somebody at the office is going to pass out a sheet with a bunch of squares and numbers on it, a sheet that looks something like this:
Your job is to look at the squares, analyze the numbers, and then determine what the second digit will be for each of the competing teams. But if you spend more than one minute on this endeavor, you’re probably wasting your time. It’s a complete crapshoot, and anyone who tells you otherwise also has some lakefront property they’d like to sell you.
However, as the Reuters article notes, some numbers are certainly better than others.
The best numbers: 3, 4, 7 and 0. Quite obviously, these numbers are the best combinations that involve touchdowns and field goals, which is what oddsmakers expect to see plenty of with an over/under in the upper 40s.
Numbers that also carry value: 1, 8 and 6.
The worst? 2, 5 and 9.