Date: Feb 3, 2012 4:21 AM
Author: david.kit.friedman@gmail.com
Subject: [ap-stat] Super Bowl Coin Toss

There was a post a while back about Super Bowl coin tosses. 

http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?forumID=67&threadID=2315473&messageID=7608052#7608052

So the NFC has won the coin toss for the past
fourteen Super Bowls -- from the Super Bowl
in 1998 to the Super Bowl in 2011.

That's pretty remarkable. I think this
could perhaps be an interesting student
project to investigate this in more detail.

One could probably find cases in history where
magicians, gamblers, or con artists have found
ways to manipulate coin tosses. Although that
certainly wouldn't show that the Super Bowl
coin toss was rigged.

If it was rigged one might ask:
how was it done?

Barring any kind of vast conspiracy it
is possible that the coin was rigged
in such a way that it either always
came up the same result or that it was
more likely to come up a certain result.

However this approach is not consistent
with the data. Although the NFC did win
the coin toss for all of those fourteen years
it was not always the NFC captain that
called the result.

There were cases where the AFC captain
called the result in the
air but it landed opposite to that.

(continued in a pdf file:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/1JA1204A4FBRMN7PK682_ap-stat/super_bowl_coin_toss.pdf
)

David Friedman
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