After the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, there were zero perfect online brackets.
Granted, no one hops into the bracket challenges with a steadfast belief that the million-dollar check is in the mail. But there is always a glimmer of hope.
As it turns out, however, most participants would have an exponentially better chance of being struck by lightning.
So ... uh ... it could be worse?
An estimated 30 million Americans filled out brackets for this year’s tournament – an astounding 10 percent of the United States population.
If they only knew what they were up against.
According to the people at Book of Odds, if you simply used a coin flip to decide the result of the 63 games counted in bracket challenges, the chance of nailing it would be one-in-nine million trillion.
But that’s not how we pick.
When our logic is factored in, the odds are much more reasonable: one-in-35 billion.
But this of course leaves out the kicker: We’re only three rounds into the tournament.
The odds of pulling off a perfect first weekend? Something in the ballpark of one-in-1.5 billion.
To put those odds into perspective, here are some things you’re more likely to accomplish in your lifetime than predicting a perfect bracket:
The people at Live Science say your chances of being killed by an asteroid are somewhere between one-in-200,000 and one-in-500,000. So while you’re staring in disbelief at your shattered Southwest region, mix in a few looks up at the sky, just in case.
To recover from your busted bracket, you may think a quick hike in the California hills would clear your mind. But you actually have a better chance of being killed by a mountain lion at one-in-32,000,000. (No one told Kim Bauer on "24"!)
Don’t go for a dip in the ocean, either, as the astronomical one-in-11.5 million chance of being killed by a shark is still reasonable by comparison to hitting the bracket sweepstakes.
But don’t worry. When you go on a rampage through downtown Los Angeles, spurred by the hopelessness of all the odds in your life, you can take solace in the relatively fantastic one-in-20,000,000 chance of becoming a saint. You could even be the patron saint of bracketology.*
See? You’re cheering up already.
The news gets better, too. You’ve got a better chance of hitting it big in your state lottery, which generally speaking has odds of about 18 million-to-one. Go buy a ticket and revel in those can’t-miss odds.
Maybe you could hit up the bowling alley? You’ve got a one-in-11,500 chance of rolling a 300.
Even better, hit the links and you’ve got a one-in-5,000 chance of snaring that elusive hole-in-one.
But if the skies threaten, head for the clubhouse.
You’ve got about a one-in-700,000 chance of being struck by lightning.
Basically, compared to the bracket odds, you’re tempting fate every time you walk out the door.