Experts have analysed statistics which will ensure everyone will be guaranteed a winner when it comes to the celebratory Christmas Cracker.
According to the experts, published in the Journal Significance, if you’re expecting 10 guests for dinner on Christmas day, 15 crackers should be enough to send everyone home happy. The experts came to their estimation by simulating 10,000 parties, with guest numbers ranging from 2 to 50.
In the traditional approach, all dinner guests sit around the table, cross arms, and pull crackers with their two immediate neighbors. In this approach, each person has a 25 per cent chance of winning zero crackers, so there are clearly inefficiencies in the system.
The researchers say, a better approach would be to use a system that starts by pairing up individuals and having each pair pull a single cracker. (For odd-sized groups one individual will have to stir the gravy or check the goose while this takes place.)
Exactly [N/2] crackers are used in this round, with the same number of winners and losers. Those who have not yet won continue as before until only a single individual remains.
That individual then pulls a cracker with themselves and they are certain to win!