Life advice and luck

December 02 2014


I'm just kidding ;) I don't want to give any advice for your life. Everyone should do what they want as long as it doesn't harm others.

I am a 24 year-old Math and Economics student at University of Dortmund, Germany and I really don't know what to write. So I just wanted to say „Thank you“. First of all thank you to The Listserve and its members for this interesting project. I love to read about other peoples lifes and stories in such an authentic way. I am also very thankful for my life. I don't believe in God but I think you can be thankful anyway. I am lucky to have loving family and friends that are healthy and love me for who I am. For me, the most important thing ist to know that you're being loved by someone.

After an unhealthy relationship and one year of being single I found the perfect girl last summer. We met at a party and made out quite quickly (there was alcohol). Two days later we met again and discovered how many things we have in common. From that day on, we saw each other every day and really fell in love. I often think about how unlikely it was for exactly the two of us to meet at that party, kiss and later discover all these similarities. She thinks it was fate but I am more the coincidence-type.

Speaking of coincidence... When I was notified that i had won The Listserve lottery I felt very lucky at first. But then I was wondering if I really was lucky or if the time period i am subscribed to The Listserve was just long enough for this to be likely to happen. Because I am only subscribed for a few months now, I know there was much luck going on, but I was interested in the probabilities anyway. So I worked out a formula where you can calculate the probability of winning in a time period of your choice. Here are some results:

The probabilty you win

-tomorrow: 0.004%
-within the next month: 0.13%
-within the next year: 1.32%
-within the next 10000 days: 10.08%

Assumptions: The growth rate continues to be 25 subscribers per day and you can't win twice (otherwise the probabilities would be a little bit lower).

So I indeed was very lucky to win The Listserve lottery.

I'll be on vacation in Thailand and Cambodia in Feburary and if you know anything exciting/interesting to see/do there besides the main tourist stuff (Bangkok, Angkor Wat) I'd be happy to hear it :). Also my girlfriend and I want to take a short trip within Europe for New Year's and we don't know where to go yet. It could be something crowded and exciting or something quiet and romantic. Feel free to send me suggestions or anything else you want to say.

I wish you all the best!

[email protected]
Dortmund, Germany

P.S. The formula I used (I'm sorry if I made any major mistakes):
sum from i=1 to n over: [ 100/(23432 – i + 25*i) ]
n: number of days you want to look ahead
i: counting variable
23432: people who didn't win yet (minus 1 winner a day, plus 25 new subscribers a day)

All the probabilities may be a bit higher because i didn't consider the case when someone doesn't write an E-Mail and someone new is chosen. A good approximation up to a year that is easier to calculate is:

(100*n) / (23432 + 24*n)

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