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Sunday, February 1, 2009

So, You're Going to Win the Publishers' Clearinghouse Prize Today?

It's Superbowl Sunday! The greatest prize of the year will be awarded. The Lombardi Trophy--NO! The Publishers' Clearinghouse Prize! Soon $10 Million will be yours!

Before you start going to the window near halftime to see that van pull up to your house, you might want to know your odds of willing.

You have a 1 in 505,000,000 chance of winning. Publisher's Clearinghouse will not hide that from you. Sending in two of the entry forms doesn't up your chances much. So, let's see what it takes to have a 50-50 chance.

You will have to mail in 505 million entry forms. Every day starting tomorrow you will have to mail in 1.383 million entry forms until next year's prize is awarded. Each of these has to be sent in a separate envelope. (Imagine the paper cuts!) You will have to mail 16 every second of every 24 hour day.

Since each one is sent by first class mail at a cost of $.42, each day's mailing cost will be $581,096 for a total cost of $212,100,040 for the year. Remember this is to win $10,000,000.

I guess your odds aren't that good nor can you really make them that good. You could still win if you have sent in your entry form. It is possible but so improbable that it approaches the miracle status.

Therefore, at halftime I will not be going to the window to make sure the special van can find my house. You'll find me in the bathroom.

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