I recently overheard a hostess take a reservation for a party of “eight guests with eight birthdays.”  I assume the guest was suggesting that between herself and her seven friends, they all shared the same birthday.

Let’s consider the possibility of this.  As we all know from simple probability, the odds of two people sharing the same birthday is about 1 in 365, not accounting for leap years.  That’s pretty simple.  How about eight people?  Over one in 863 quadrillion (1 in 365 to the 7th power).  And so I loudly yelled in the background, “Seriously?  What are the odds that eight out of eight people could possibly have the same birthday?”  1 in 863 quadrillion!

Do you know what’s even more likely than that?  Winning the Powerball lottery two times in a row, buying only one ticket each time (1 in 30.6 quadrillion).  You’re over 20 times more likely to have that happen.

Do you know what’s also much more likely?  That they’ll tell the server a million agonizing times that today’s their mutually shared birthday.  They’ll mention their birthdays about….oh, 863 quadrillion times.  All that for a melted chocolate cake.  And we can be 100% certain that the last thing these guests need is MORE cake.  We can be very certain about that.

I hope it’s all worth it.  I hope you enjoy living your lie.

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