Here’s something you can use at your next dinner party: it’s a little mathematical oddity that surprises most people. It’s called the Birthday Paradox.

The question is this: how many people do you need to have in a room before the odds are greater than 50% that any two of them would share the same birthday? You’d think 183 or so. But in reality, the answer is 25.

You only need 25 peeps in a group to guarantee more probability than not that any two of them share a birthday. Once you get 40 peeps, the odds are overwhelimingly in your favor.

I’m not going to get into the math on this. But to give you a general sense of how this works, draw a bunch of dots on a piece of paper. Then connect each dot to each other dot and you’ll start to see a whole lot of lines. Now imagine those dots are people, and the lines are birthday comparisons.

To truly understand this, look up Birthday Paradox in Wikipedia or find a discrete math book.

The Birthday Paradox is predicated on an even distribution of birthdays throughout the year, which is not the case. There are more people born in November than April, so the odds are actually higher that you’ll find a match.

I point this out because I don’t think we realize how much of our lives is dictated by probability.

Coincidence? I think so.