# What are the odds?

I’ve been working at this job for almost three years now. Every year we have a Christmas gift exchange where we pull a name from a hat and secretly get a gift for that person.

There is a tasty young blonde named Heather that works in the office. A True Babe. The first Christmas I was here, I pulled her name. What are the odds, I ask you?

The second year, I pulled her name again. Everyone was amazed and astonished at the blind luck of it all. Surely this was beyond coincidence. The odds must be one in a million! Or one in twenty, whichever. Of course, everyone joked about what would happen if I pulled her name a third time. HA HA! Wouldn’t that be a scream! The odds of that happening would be one in thirty. Million!

Today we did the drawing for this year. Before I drew, people joked “What if you get Heather again? HA HA!”

So I drew a name from the hat.

Honestly, people, do you just fill the hat with one name? :dubious:

Hate to tell you this, but the odds on drawing her name for a third time, after having drawn it twice, are…1 in 20!!!

Only if ten more people are invited.

You pick for Christmas gifts in July?

I’m not really sure about the logic of that myself. I think it has something to do with restaurant reservations. Because as you know, December tables are filled by late August.

Or something.

Only 155* more shopping days until Christmas!

*I think… there are 162 days left and Christmas is 7 days before the end of the year, but I’m not sure how shopping days are calculated…

The way I shop, there are three shopping days left. They begin on December 22nd.

Picking out names 5 months in advance seems weird. How does the company deal with anyone who gets hired or leaves between now and December?

Anyhoo, I think I am missing something as I can’t see what good it is to keep drawing the same person’s name. (Babe or not.)

I’m confused - names are picked to be “secret” givers, yet everyone knows you picked Heather’s name? Obviously I’m missing something here.

It’s never come up.

I don’t think it’s good (or bad), just an amusing coinkidink.

The secret is up when we finally exchange gifts. Nobody knows yet who I picked this time. I have to keep it a secret for 5 long months.

Well, assuming an office staff of eleven people (including the OP), the odds of drawing any particular person three times in a row is one in a hundred. Drawing Heather specifically three times in a row is one in a thousand.

Using this fact to get a shot at nailing Heather? That’s one in a million.

Oh, wait, this is tdn talking.

Billion.

[sub]I kid, I kid.[/sub]

Can you explain your math? I’m not getting this.

Now hold on. Are you saying that I stand no chance with her? Tell me, Mr. Genius, in what universe will a blonde bombshell who could well be a model not spontaneously leave her fiance to be with a middle aged overweight balding nerd?

Okay, let’s say your office has eleven people in it, including you. Therefore, you’re drawing from a pool of ten names (on the assumption that if you drew your own name, you’d put it back and try again, thus there are only ten possible outcomes). You will draw somebody (there’s no chance you will draw nobody), so the odds of drawing somebody are one-in-one, or 100%.

The first year, you draw some random person, call them X. The second year, (assuming the staff is unchanged), you have a one-in-ten (10%) chance of drawing X again. The third year, you also have a one-in-ten chance (10%) of drawing X.

We multiply probabilities of independent events to get the odds of all of them occuring, so your odds of drawing someone (without caring who specifically that someone is) three times in a row are:

100% * 10% * 10% = 1 * 0.1 * 0.1 = 0.01 = one in a hundred.

Now, those are the odds of drawing somebody, i.e. any random employee. The odds of drawing Heather specifically:

First year: 10% (remember, you’re trying for one specific person)
Second year: 10%
Third: 10%

10% * 10% * 10% = 0.1 * 0.1 * 0.1 = 0.001 = one in a thousand.

It depends what colour the sky is in that universe.

Ah, there’s my mistake. I was adding, not multiplying. Good thing my job description doesn’t include statistical analysis.

Uh- am I missing something? Heather’s a total babe, you seem to be smitten by her, you keep getting her name in gift drawings, AND ALL YOU CAN THINK OF IS WHY YOU KEEP DRAWING HER?!?!

Unless you’re married or she’s made it clear she’s not interested in you or your workplace has a policy against co-worker involvement- make this work for you!!!

A splandid plan, except for a few things. I have a girlfriend already. Heather is engaged. And even if we were both available, I don’t think it would be a great relationship. She’s a very nice girl, but so unlike me in so many ways.

The same one where Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett, Christy Brinkley married Billy Joel, and Sandra Bullock married Jesse James.

What that means? I don’t really know.

That depends on what you get her. :eek:

Like what, chloroform?

Actually, I was thinking about getting her a pearl necklace and matching earrings. That oughta be good for at least a hug.