The birthday paradox

Years ago, someone told me that in a group of people, it was more likely that two people would have the same birthday than that everyone would have a unique birthday. I never paid attention to the numbers so earlier this week, I looked them up.

Based on probability theory, with just 23 random people in a room, the likelihood that two of them will have the same birthday is 50%. With 70 people, that chance jumps to 99.9%.

It should be no surprise, then, when we know people with the same birthday, but I always (okay, sometimes) think that it’s a pretty cool and special thing. I often check out which celebrities share a friend’s birthday (mine include Lebron James, Tiger Woods and Jay Kay from Jamiroquai.) And, today, I have THREE people to celebrate. One came to town to spend her birthday with us, one flew to Maui to celebrate his in tropical paradise, one will be, I’m sure, painting the town red.

Happy birthday to Julie!

I was asked to select ten to fifteen words I would use to describe her and the top two I’ve come up with are vibrant and gregarious. She is fun, she is excited, she is a invigorating person to be around and she is the best third wheel we’ve got! We’re so happy to have her here in BC this weekend and we are going to do it up right in her honour!

Happy birthday to Karen!

We worked together on a few projects including the launch of her business and plenty of lacrosse stuff. Through it all, we developed a friendship that outlived all of our business dealings. She is a super fun person to hang out with and, in case you ever end up with any physio needs, she is amazing at her job!

Happy birthday to Mark!

That’s him on the left and, sadly, this is the only photo of him that I could find. I know that we have a couple of others – from Pemberton Festival in 2008, from camping in Whistler and from various weird hijinks over the years – but this was the best I could do. At work, he is my sanity saver, my refuge in a storm, my sounding board and the one who sets me straight. I adore his commitment to what’s right, to treating people well and to being a good person. He is more resilient than anyone I know and always sets a good example for any and all human beings.

If today is your birthday, too, I can honestly tell you that you are in very good company.

One thought on “The birthday paradox

  1. Chapmaniac says:

    Not sure if you are talking about the same day, same year but I ran into a guy once that was born within an hour of me ( 5 a.m.) on December 25, 1955 in a town about 30 miles north of Southampton, England where I was born. What are the the odds of that! At the old Pumphouse Pub in Richmond, B. C.

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