Statistics drive

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When motorways, destinations and probability collide the result is a head-scratcher.

The thing I love about statistics is the way they can kick you in the face when you least expect it.

Like with the birthday problem where it becomes statistically likely that two people in a room share a birthday when there are just 23 people there. The probability increases to 99% with 57 people, which seems totally implausible but it’s just a clever trick.

The same applies to the game show host with goats/car behind doors. It’s a clever trick in the wording of the question but if you analyse it the answer becomes apparent.

Now I don’t believe in coincidence but I’d certainly like to assess the probability of this happening: one night I was travelling from Glasgow to Ayr on the M77 motorway. As usual, minding my own business, it was dark and there were very few cars about. Then one passed me. The registration plate was:


What are the chances…?

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