“[T]he coin of life has meaning and value no matter what side it lands on. It’s each individual’s choice whether to bet on the outcome or not, but ultimately your coin of life will be spent somehow.” -Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Coin flips are traditionally the way to settle disputes with two choices and equal probabilities. They’re ubiquitous not only in sporting events, but in events as important as elections, with thirty five states having adopted a coin flip as their official tiebreaker method. Yesterday, in Iowa, the democratic election was so close that there were six county delegate seats that needed to be decided by coin flip.
Hillary Clinton won all six, leading some to speculate that there must be some foul play at work. However, a closer look at the odds revealed what you might have suspected all along: that quite often, the probability of one of many unlikely outcomes can be just as high than the probability of one of the most likely outcomes. In other words, there’s no reason to suspect foul play at all.