March Madness: Odds of a perfect bracket are off-the-charts crazy; Here are 7 things more likely
The odds of picking a perfect bracket in the NCAA men's basketball tournament are really, really small. So small, in fact, that many mathematicians differ on the actual estimation of the odds.
Some believe it's as low as 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (or 1 in 9.2 quintillion, for those who skipped the last 18 digits), while others, including Jeff Bergen, a professor at DePaul, think it's as "high" as 1 in 128 billion. Either way, picking all 63 games (excluding the First Four games) correctly is next to impossible.
But if the odds scare you, here are seven things that are much more likely to happen than picking a perfect bracket:
Odds of making a half-court shot at a halftime competition: 1 in 50
We can't all be Steph Curry, or even Les Henson, but every fan dreams of winning it big with his or her basketball skills. Surprisingly, the odds of hitting a half-court shot are pretty good, according to Chris Hamman, odds assessor at SCA Promotions. (Source: MarketWatch).
Odds of becoming an astronaut for NASA: 1-3 in 600
There are many different ways to get to space, but the easiest and most traditional way is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But first, you have to apply to even be considered. Every time NASA opens up its astronaut selection, they receive between 2,000 to 6,000 applications, and around 10 become full-fledged astronauts. (Source: Wired).
Odds of finding a four-leaf clover: 1 in 10,000
The ultimate sign of luck. Find one of these and your odds of picking a perfect bracket probably go up, at least a little bit. (Source: University of Sydney mathematics professor Clio Cresswell).
Odds of bowling a perfect game: 1 in 11,500
The odds of an adult male who isn't a professional bowling a 300 game are 1 in 11,500. If you're a pro, those odds increase to 1 in 460. And if you have the bumpers up, the odds are even higher. (Source: Gazette Extra).
Odds of winning an Academy Award: 1 in 11,500
In order to even be in consideration for an Oscar, you have to be in the movie business. Otherwise, your odds are zero. But, even if you aren't an actor or actress, your odds of taking home one of the most prestigious awards in entertainment are pretty low. (Source: The Las Vegas Review-Journal).
Odds of making an albatross: 1 in 1,000,000
A hole-in-one is a challenge in itself, but an albatross is a whole other animal. An albatross, sometimes known as a double eagle, is an ace on a Par 4 or two strokes on a Par 5. Odds on playing a hole that well have been stated as high as six million to one. But, in a 2004 interview in Golf World, Dean Knuth, the inventor of the United States Golf Association's slope rating system, said the figure was closer to one in a million, still quite a feat. (Source: Golf World Digital)
Odds of becoming president: 1 in 10,000,000
President Obama has the same odds as everyone else at picking a bracket, but if you want to fill yours out in the Oval Office, you'll need to become president first. (Source: The International Business Times).