Banks & Credit Cards, Work

Bike Commuting and Probabilities

Sometimes on my ride home from work on my bike I think about the strangest things.  Over the past several weeks, one of the strange things that I have been thinking about has been the probability of hitting every street light on my trip home while the light is green.  There are 28 intersections with street lights that I have to cross on my journey home, two of which are left hand turns.  I am convinced that if it were not for these lights I would be able to get home in 30 minutes instead of my typical 45-50.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that this will ever happen.  When I ran the numbers I calculated that my chances of getting every green light on my way home would be 1 in 268,435,456,  which is (1/2)^28.  According to Wikipedia, the chances of my winning the Mega Millions is much, much better (Mega Millions chances are 1 in 175,711,536).  So if I ever get home on my bike without hitting a red light, I going straight to 7-11 and buying me some lotto tickets!

But seriously, how alive would you feel knowing that you just accomplished something that only happens 1 in two hundred and sixty-eight million, four hundred and thirty-five thousand, four hundred and fifty-six times?  I think I would feel like I was walking on sunshine.