Sunday Probability Calculations

So, I missed a video broadcast of some Purcell from the Styriarte Festival yesterday because, not knowing that it was going to be broadcast, I had gotten ballet tickets. Bummer. (The ballet wasn’t bad, though – it was the American Ballet Theater doing Giselle, and the second half was more than worth the price of admission. But why do ballet sets always have to be so twee? I think I’d enjoy it more if it was a little more abstract.)

But it has come to my attention that the Purcell will be broadcast via Ö1 radio on 12 July. When I have tickets to a kabuki performance. No joke. What are the odds of that? (It’s actually trickier than I first thought to figure this out. The probability of two independent events with an equal likelihood of happening on any day in a particular year happening on the same particular day is 1/365 times 1/365. But that is not quite what is happening here. All the events have to do is happen on the same day, not any one particular day – and this has to happen twice.

Although I suppose we could set it up as “given that these two broadcasts are definitely happening June 21 and July 12, and given that I could in theory buy a ballet or theater ticket for any day of the year – just to generalize – we could set it up as, if I buy two theater tickets in 2014, how likely is it that I would buy a theater ticket for each of those days. Which brings us back to the 1/365 times (odds of my buying a ticket for June 21) times 1/365 (odds of me buying a ticket for July 12), I guess. Which is 1/133,225 = very, very small.) Although this assumes that the two tickets are independent, and that I could buy two for the same day. Which I am more than capable of doing, depending on circumstances.

But numbers aside, I believe that Ö1 usually archives their broadcasts for a week or so, so even if I miss it on the 12th because of the kabuki, I’ll catch it eventually. (Or maybe a bootleg of the video broadcast will pop up somewhere . . . a girl can dream, I guess.)

2 thoughts on “Sunday Probability Calculations

    1. This is true. If I was down south, the ballet and kabuki would not be be an issue. (I am now waiting patiently for the Mississippi Kabuki Theater to 1) invent itself and 2) prove me wrong.)


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