NFL History - Super Bowl Squares

- Updated: January 27, 2017

As usual, this NFL season has gone by way too fast. We are down to the final two teams that will face off in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Sunday, February 5th (get tickets).

You likely know someone that has set up an office pool using Super Bowl squares.

Of course, you won't have any idea what your numbers will be when you select your square(s). You won't find out until after all 100 squares have been filled.

For those unfamiliar with how the process works, the numbers are based on the final score for each team at the end of each quarter, half or the game. So, in other words, a score of 3, 13, 23, etc. would count as a "3" in terms of the pool.

When you find out your numbers, you will immediately have a sense of whether your numbers are good or bad. For example, you know that 7 and 3 is good. You know that 5 and 2 is not.

A few years ago, those were the exact numbers that I got (5 and 2).


Although I knew my odds were slim, I wasn't sure exactly how slim. I thought it would be an interesting (yes, I need to get a life) exercise to run through all of the past Super Bowl boxscores to see which numbers have come up the most and least often.

With 50 Super Bowls in the books and four quarters per game, that means there have been 200 quarters and a total of 400 scores (200 quarters times two teams).

The most common number overall is 0 and especially so in the first quarter. Although its occurrence declines each quarter from the first to fourth, the number 0 has come up 108 times out of 400 possible outcomes (or 27 percent). In the first quarter, it has come up nearly half the time (48 of 100) but only 13 percent of the time in the fourth quarter (13 of 100).

The least common number overall is a tie between 2 and 5, both of which have occurred 10 times out of 400 (or 2.5 percent of the time). But it does come up ...

So, you're telling me there's a chance?

Here are the most common by quarter (number of occurrences out of 100 in parenthesis):
- 1st quarter: 0 (48 times)
- 2nd quarter (halftime): 0 (29)
- 3rd quarter: 7 (23)
- 4th quarter (final): 7 (19)

Here are the least common by quarter (number of occurrences out of 100 in parenthesis):
- 1st quarter: 1, 2 and 5 (tied with 0 times)
- 2nd quarter (halftime): 5 (1)
- 3rd quarter: 2 (3)
- 4th quarter (final): 2 (4)

Below is a full chart of the results:

[Results are updated through Super Bowl 50.]

Here's hoping that you get 0's and 7's.

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