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October 21, 2015

What’s six times less likely than winning the lottery then getting attacked by a cow twice?

Tsz goes back to the future of advertising while we crunch the numbers

Today is Wednesday 21st October 2015, the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit in Back To The Future II. A big day for science geeks, film nerds, hoverboard fans and DeLorean aficionados. Our Technical Director Tsz is a member of all four groups (brushed-metal meeting room chairs, natch) so was in a perfect place to witness a most uncommon statistical event while riding the Central Line to work this morning.

He was stuck on the crowded train, reading a book called Paid Attention by Faris Yakob, an old gift he selected at random this morning. He doesn’t usually bother with books in the mornings however, preferring swiping to page turning, so has plenty of unread books at home.

He picks up the book. He opens a random page. And, drumroll please… the page title staring back at him reads “BACK TO THE FUTURE OF PLANNING ADVERTISING”.

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What a coincidence! How unlikely is that? Well, very unlikely, it turns out. Data Analyst Faz set to work.

First he got some quantifiable data.

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Then he found some other unlikely events and combined them to draw a closest match.

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His conclusion? His probability of reading that particular page at this very morning was: 1 out 853 Billion. Or six times less likely than winning the UK national lottery and before being attacked by a cow than ending up reading this page on this very day.

Guesswork? Where we’re going, we don’t need guesswork…

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