Check The Odds To Win Your Squares Pool

For my friends, the Super Bowl is all about football. For my wife, it is all about the commercials. For me, however, the Super Bowl has always been about one thing and one thing only: betting.  So when somebody inevitably approaches me to participate in the Squares Pool I am going to enter despite knowing that I am going to lose to the person in the room that knows the least about football.

So congrats in advance my friend Joe’s new drunken stripper girlfriend, and come post-game expect to find me again in the corner binging on Cool Ranch Doritos just like I was when my Squares Pool bad luck run started back at Super Bowl XXXIV.  If luck had been on my side that day and Kevin Dyson would have made it one more yard, the game would have went into overtime and I probably wouldn’t be writing this column. But that last yard cost me $1250, and just about every Super Bowl pre-game since has taunted me with a replay of that missed TD. 

It was my first year playing squares and although I have played every year since, I have yet to win a single quarter.  But if you are like me and are determined to play again anyway here are a few things you should know.

The odds of any random square hitting before numbers are picked is 1% per quarter.  With four – 1% chances per game you should have a 1/25th chance of hitting the money on Sunday, but as soon as you get your numbers those odds have already changed.

Our squares were pulled last night. I bought two squares and ended up with Ravens -5 and Niner’s-3 and Ravens-3 and Niner’s-8.  It sounded good while I was on the phone, and I figured I pulled two 3s so I probably had a decent shot.  But alas, turns out that in the history of the Super Bowl neither combination of numbers has ever hit. 

Looking over the past 46 years of Superbowl history, 184 quarters of play, there have been 29 number combinations that have yet to win.  Here are the rest of the combinations of numbers you don’t want to be holding on Super Bowl Sunday.

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So what is the most popular number?  Zero.  Not only does it show up 27.45% of the time, but it is the only number that has been paired with every other number for a win.

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The top square on the board is 0 – 0.  That square has won 26 times in Super Bowl history and is 700% more valuable than the average square.  Based on the previous 46 Super Bowls check out this graph to figure out your chances of winning your Super Bowl pool this Sunday.

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Some Other Interesting Facts
13 times we have seen 0-0, but 10 of those wins were in the 1st quarter.  It is the most valuable square on the sheet, but after the 1st quarter it has only won 3 other times.

51 possible combinations have at least a 2, 5, or an 8 on the sheet.  If you held all 51 squares you’d only have a 14.67% chance of winning. 

85.87% chance that a quarter will have at least one number ending in a 0, 7, or 3.

So is this going to help you not get shitcanned by stripper Shanna on Sunday? Probably not. But at least you will be able to sound smart while you lose.