Probabilities of winning the Super Bowl Box Game

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One of my favorite games during the Super Bowl is the 100-square box game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an example:

The premise is simple: a square with 100 boxes is drawn, and random numbers from 0-9 are filled in across and down. Everyone pitches in a buck and you get a square. If the score at the end of each quarter ends in your numbers (last number in the score of each team), you win $25.

What is the probability of winning based on my numbers?

That’s an interesting question, and there are many ways to answer it. One could look at recent Super Bowl results to assign a probability. From Print Your

  • The number 0 appeared 99 times – 27.50%
  • The number 7 appeared 75 times – 20.83%
  • The number 3 appeared 56 times – 15.56%
  • The number 4 appeared 38 times – 10.56%
  • The number 6 appeared 30 times – 8.33%
  • The number 1 appeared 20 times – 5.56%
  • The number 9 appeared 15 times – 4.17%
  • The number 2 appeared 9 times   – 2.50%
  • The number 8 appeared 9 times   – 2.50%
  • The number 5 appeared 9 times   – 2.50%
  • Takeaways: double-zero is king, and any combo of 0, 7, and 3 is gold

However, this methodology does not take into account current factors. The Wall Street Journal ran scenario analysis on the New York Giants and New England Patriots and came up with the following matrix:

  • Takeaways: In this scenario, double-zero is still king, but 0-7, 0-3, and 7-0 are close runners up
Unfortunately, in either scenario, if you’re sitting on the double-2, the double-5 or the double-8, you’re screwed

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