Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Bingo!!!

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No one could live long enough to print every possible BINGO card? How is this possible? In the BINGO game there are seventy-five numbers broken up into five groups of fifteen numbers each; B-1 thru 15, I-16 thru 30, N-31 thru 45, G-46 thru 60, and O-61 thru 75. The BINGO game card has five columns corresponding to the letters B-I-N-G-O. The bingo game player’s card has twenty four numbers; five numbers pre-printed in four of the columns under the B-I-G-O and four numbers under the N. Calculating the total number of possible combinations yields the result that there exists 552,446,474,061,129,000,000,000,000. (That’s 552-million-billion-billion or 0.5 quadrillion) possible BINGO game cards. There would be 111,007,923,832,371,000 sets of bingo game cards with 4,976,640,000 cards (almost 55 billion) in each set. Every card in each set would have the same twenty four numbers, but in a different arrangement on each card. If we presume that there are six billion people in the world today, it means that there are 92,074,412,343,521,400 bingo game cards for each and every person in the world. If you could print a million bingo game cards per second, it would take 17,505,972,382,599.7 years to print every possible BINGO game card.

If you put four BINGO game cards on a standard 8-1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, and if you spread all of the BINGO game cards out over the surface of the earth, they would cover the earth to a depth of over 800 miles. If there were one million bingo game cards per inch of height, and all of the possible cards were put in one stack, the stack would extend for 1485 light-years. (A light year is 6-trillion miles.) Alpha Centuri, our nearest star beyond the Sun, is only 4 light-years away.

Here’s some more proof.

You can have 120 different arrangements of five numbers under each of the four columns under the B, I, G, and O. You can have 24 different arrangements of the four numbers under the N. So, 120 times, 120 times, times 24, times 120, times 120 equals 4,976,640,000. That’s the number of bingo game cards that could exist, all with the same twenty-four numbers, but just in a different arrangement on each card.

Doing the arithmetic then, there are 111,007,923,832,371,000 possible unique BINGO combinations where no two cards would have the same twenty four numbers. (That’s 111-million-million.)

Are you still with me??