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rgray222
10:05 AM on 02/29/2012
Here is something that you can bet on with much better odds, casino's and online poker sites are now giving odds that the President of the USA will disclose that we are not alone in the universe. To read more go to
http://www.educatinghumanity.com/2012/02/casinos-giving-odds-on-ufo-disclosure.html
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lcr999
scientist
10:02 AM on 02/29/2012
"A New Jersey mother born on February 29 beat 2 million-to-1 odds when she had her daughter – who was also born on leap day."

A bit misleading---- The odds that the mother, having already been born on Feb. 29, would have a Feb. 29 baby are about 1 in 1400. The odds that a random birth would be on Feb 29, followed by a child born on Feb 29, would be about 1400*1400=2mil.
-swift
Can you put your country before your party?
10:14 AM on 02/29/2012
It's sad that any time an article talks about odds or chances, it has to be corrected.

Your analysis is correct. I would narrow the odds even a bit further, though, because it sounds like this was a planned pregnancy. It's not like she got pregnant at some completely random time. The odds might be closer to 1 in 365 if the decision to have a baby was made that year. If she was trying for a leap baby, the odds could be reduced even further.

So congrats to the family. And here's hoping journalism schools start including remediation courses on basic probability.
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lcr999
scientist
10:19 AM on 02/29/2012
Yes, people are really bad at math and probability. That's why we have gambling!
11:20 AM on 02/29/2012
Very good. But what is even worse is that 1 in 2 million odds is only accurate if we are looking at the pair a priori i.e. the woman was randomly chosen and then it was observed if she and her child had the same 2/29 birthday. Most likely this wasn’t the case. Given the large number of parent-child pairs in the US it is highly unlikely you wouldn’t be able, after the fact, to find such a pair. For example, a randomly chosen mother-child pair would have approximately a 1 in 2million chance of both being born on February 29. But if you look at N such pairs then the odds that at least 1 won’t have such a unique birthday is (1-(1/2,000,000)^N. Thus if you looked at say 5 million such pairs there is only about an 8% chance of not finding such a unique pair. It’s sort of like the lottery. The odds of any single player winning might be say 1 in 2 million but if enough people play the odds are high that someone will win.

Unfortunately, this technique in misusing statistics is widely used by the media. For example, it is regularly reported that a particular area may be a “cancer cluster” because its population has an abnormally high cancer rate. But it is abnormally high only if the area was chosen at random. If one "cherry picks" the area after the fact the odds are no longer abnormal
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lcr999
scientist
11:43 AM on 02/29/2012
As I said, humans, or at least americans, are very bad at probability.

thanks
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Tanishh
01:00 PM on 02/29/2012
What?

The article isn't misleading in the slightest. The chance that any given mom and kid will be born 2/29 is under 1/2,000,000. Fact.

Yes, if you take millions of people into consideration that probability nears 1. By that notion, the probability of almost any event that has even a slight chance of happening per day or per person or whatever has a nearly 100% probability given enough time or people. That kind of statistic is utterly meaningless and isn't what the article is referring to at all.
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mmvernes
Catty and Chatty
09:39 AM on 02/29/2012
The question is was it induced labor or a c-section so she could have it on leap day or was it a natural labor? Hey we can have our kids born on the same day by just getting pregnant in the right month & having labor induced and someone can be in the news & say "all my kids were born on the same day isn't it amazing"??
-swift
Can you put your country before your party?
10:16 AM on 02/29/2012
The article says she went into labor yesterday. Sounds like a natural event to me. but read lcr999's post above for the better analysis of the odds.
Perky2Cents
"Putting it in, Even if you don't want it :)"
09:27 AM on 02/29/2012
That is an awesome thing!! So cool!
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pepper1311
10:56 AM on 02/29/2012
What an eight year old giving birth