## Super Bowl prop bets 2014: Coin toss historical results for the true degenerate gambler

Mike Ehrmann

The Super Bowl prop bet that provides everybody with a 50/50 chance of winning is the coin toss. Time to look at the history of coin tosses!

Every year, the Super Bowl provides a chance for even the most amateur of gamblers to get in on the action. Even if you know nothing about the NFL, you can wager on events such as the National Anthem, or the color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, or even the result of the coin toss.

You read that right, you can bet on what is essentially a 50/50 proposition. I say "essentially" because it turns out a coin toss might not be entirely 50/50. Professors from Stanford's Mathematics and Statistics departments put together a study that showed a coin toss is actually more like a 51/49 proposition based on whatever side is up before the flip. It is worth noting that the study is not entirely applicable to the Super Bowl coin toss, because the coin toss assumes no bouncing. In the Super Bowl, the referee lets the coin hit the ground. Yes, there is such a thing as too much information for determining whether to bet heads or tails.

A look through the history of Super Bowl coin tosses shows an almost dead even split of results. Prior to last year's Super Bowl, 46 coin tosses had resulted in 23 heads and 23 tails. Here is a rundown of all 47 coin tosses:

Last year marked the fifth straight season, and sixth time in seven years, that the coin toss came up heads. If that has you thinking, "tails is due," you might want to re-assess your understanding of probability. Every coin toss is an independent event. History has shown it to be a truly 50/50 proposition, so saying one side is due in a single year is not correct.

Of course, if you're really trying to figure out the best way to play this particular proposition bet, you might just have a problem.

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