'An enlightening book' – Jennifer Ouellette, New York Times

'Very engaging... should be, in all probability, required reading for us all – Washington Post

352 pages/2014 – UK & Commonwealth (Transworld), US (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Brazil (Companhia das Letras), China (Publishing House of Electronics Industry-Beijing Media Electronic Information), Germany (Beck), Greece (ROPI Publications), Italy (Rizzoli), Japan (Hayakawa), Korea (Gilbut), Netherlands (AmboAnthos), Poland (Foksal), Russia (AST), Taiwan (Locus), Turkey (April)

352 pages/2014 – UK & Commonwealth (Transworld), US (Scientific American/Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Brazil (Companhia das Letras), China (Publishing House of Electronics Industry-Beijing Media Electronic Information), Germany (Beck), Greece (ROPI Publications), Italy (Rizzoli), Japan (Hayakawa), Korea (Gilbut), Netherlands (AmboAnthos), Poland (Foksal), Russia (AST), Taiwan (Locus), Turkey (April)

The Improbability Principle

How To Guarantee Winning the Lottery, Why Lightning Does Strike Twice and Why Other Incredibly Unlikely Things Keep Happening
David Hand

A penetrating look at why extraordinarily rare events happen so often – at why, in the words of the British mathematician J. E. Littlewood, we should expect to experience miracles 'at the rate of a about one a month'.

At first glance, it sounds like a contradiction or paradox. If things are incredibly unlikely, how can they happen often, and why should we expect them to happen? Now, in a highly original work of synthesis aimed squarely at the general public, the eminent statistician David Hand answers these questions by weaving together various strands of probability into a unified explanation that he calls the improbability principle.

It is a book that will appeal not only to those who love stories about startling coincidences and extraordinarily rare events, but also to those who are interested in how a single bold idea links areas as diverse as gambling, the weather, airline disasters, creative writing and the origin of life and even the Universe. It's a book that will change your perspective on how the world works – and tell you what the Bible code and Shakespeare have in common, how to win the lottery, why Apple's song shuffling was made less random to seem more random, and why lightning does strike twice.