Boggled Intuition

What are the odds of throwing 40 coins into the air and they all come up heads? If you are willing to repeat the experiment every 30 seconds for a billion years, it will happen most likely about 933 times. Our intuition about what is possible and impossible only works for human-sized elapsed times.

Time Trials Number of Coins Expected Successes
one hour 120 3 15
one year 1,026,720 10 1,002
one century 102,672,000 20 97
1000 years 1,026,720,000 20 979
One million years 1,026,720,000,000 30 956
One billion years 1,026,720,000,000,000 40 933
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)