Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Percent: It's sort of a big deal...

On Friday Michael Drysch went to a Miami Heat game and came home $75,000 and a tackling bear hug from LeBron James richer. The Miami Heat offered him the money if he could sink a half-court shot and LeBron tackled him in celebration.

Later, in an interview with, Drysch said:
"I had made that shot something like 1 percent of the time in my life."
Now obviously that's a figure of speech, I get that. Drysch most likely meant that it was a shot he hadn't made many times in his life. The thing is, though, if something happens 1% of the time that probably means it actually happen a lot, if someone is one in a million that means that 7,000 people are the exact same, and if a hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of 200 million germs you're still going to be left with 20,000.

When it comes to statistics, our intuition is pretty horrible. It's just one of the ways that our brain deceives us