Long before daily fantasy leagues captured the hearts and minds of football fans, Super Bowl parties across the country made things more interesting with box pools, better known as Super Bowl squares.
To play Super Bowl Squares, have everyone participating place their name in the squares of their choice (if you’re playing for money, a square would cost a predetermined amount). Next, randomly assign the numbers 0-9 along the the vertical and horizontal gray squares.
A winner can be determined for each quarter or only for the overall score of the game. To determine a winner, take the last digit of each team’s score and find the corresponding square on the grid. For example, if the AFC team has 21 points and the NFC team has 17 points, the square that intersects 1 on the AFC side and 7 on the NFC side wins.
If you do engage in one of these pools for fun, the most coveted square to have at the end of the first quarter is 0,0, which has the highest probability of occurring based on the scoring between eventual playoff teams over the past decade, followed closely by 7,7. The worst boxes to have at the end of the first include 1,7; 8,0; 9,0; 0,6 and 6,4. All have hit less than 1 percent of the time.
At the half, seven continues to be a lucky number.
By the end of the third quarter, the number four starts to pull ahead, with 4,0 having the best chance to wins some prizes.
A box containing 3,0 — the most frequent final score for a playoff game — gives you a high probability of snaring the grand prize.
Setting aside order and timing, the absolute best numbers to have are no surprise: zero and seven. The worst is two.