Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had a “virtual tie” in the Iowa caucus Monday night, with 99% of precincts reported and just a 0.2% difference (49.6% vs. 49.8%, respectively).
Because they were tied, coin tosses (yes, coin tosses) were reportedly held in at least 6 precincts, in order to determine who would get the delegates.
Clinton won them all, the Des Moines Register reported. They were reportedly held in two precincts in Des Moines and four more in Ames, Newton, West Branch, and Davenport.
The chances of winning 6 coin tosses in a row are (1/2)^6, or 1/64 — or 1.6%.
I emailed John Allen Paulos, the prominent mathematician and author of Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences. He responded simply saying: “It does arouse a little suspicion — about the 6 consecutive wins for Clinton, about the way the flips took place, and about the 60 missing attendees. Can’t say more now.”