What are my odds of meeting somebody?

So after watching Amy Webb’s TED talk sometime back, I enjoyed the part where she showed the odds of her meeting the man of her dreams and all.


So of course, my inner-geek kicked in and I started doodling…in Microsoft Excel.  Doodling and Excel is a bad combination for me.  A couple of tabs of spreadsheets later, and I found that my stomach was grumbling for want of food, but also, the numerical answer to me looked…daunting.

I used common demographic numbers on the web, population numbers in the US, populations of my state and city, adult demographics, couplehood demographics, percentages of LDS members, and more.  I used calculations of how many times people date before meeting the person they like, how many people they talk to in online dating before even hitting it off, I crunched numbers, and had a grand ol’ time and it looked something like Amy Web’s chart above…kind of.

One in a Million

Meeting somebody on the street (or supermarket) in my home state, numerically the spreadsheet tells me there might be 2 or 3 ladies in my state that are the woman of my dreams.  Given the adult population of my state, this means she’s truly one in a million.

I have better odds at getting a royal flush at a Vegas poker table.

The odds of me walking into a supermarket in the average US town and seeing a lady that would fit what I’m looking for came to just slightly above 1 in 100,000.

For me to walk into an LDS church on Sunday in an average LDS chapel in the US and see the lady of my dreams, I factored in percentage of those that are already married using LDS numbers, but it still came out higher at nearly 4 in 100,000.

Going to a LDS single adult activity filters things quite a bit and the number jumps to a whopping 85 in a 100,000 for my odds.  Sounds fantastic, right?  Those single adults thing really do help a lot.  Well, it’s still a 0.085% chance (less than one-hundredth of a single percentage point).

Going onto an online LDS-focused dating site, my odds jump even higher to…112 in 100,000.

At least I’m well above (10 times higher) than the odds of me being struck by lightning in my lifetime and even better than the odds of me being in an automobile accident if I drive to general conference.

Lessons Learned

#1 – Like Amy Webb, I must be picky

#2 – Stay off the MS Excel for doodling

#3 – The lesson of “with the Lord all things are possible” really comes to heart

#4 – Whichever lady I do meet, it sounds like she must genuinely be amazing


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