A number of customers have complained on Cadbury’s Facebook page over the Easter break, claiming that their randomly assorted Favourite Easter egg boxes were not ‘random’ enough. Apparently, instead of containing a big chocolate egg and eight mini-chocolate bars in different varieties, some packages were filled with a handful of Cherry Ripes, even six or seven each.

The ‘incident’, if we can call it such, has sparked a little debate, with some jokingly referring to it as ‘the cherry ripe curse’. According to the company, however, those customers were just unlucky.

“The process of the pieces going into the packet is randomised, it is not intentional that you would get that much of one particular product,” said the multinational in a statement, promising that it would be in touch with those complaining.

Measuring how unlucky they have been is a mere matter of probability; whilst there were 12 different types of minis that people could get, who knows how many packages were sold. As a matter of fact, Thomas Lumley from the University of Auckland took the matter quite seriously, producing a simulation of one million randomly assorted boxes.

“Out of a million simulated packs, 442 had seven or more of some type of bar, and 83 had seven or more Cherry Ripes. The probability of seven or more of something is between 4 and 5 out of 10,000 and the probability of seven or more Cherry Ripes is between 0.6 and 1 out of 10,000,” he said.
It was, in other terms, anything but impossible.