A little while back I put out a request for math and collecting related ideas. Sal from Puck Junk gave me a few good ideas and here is the first one.
Something that has always been a dream of mine is to open a pack of 79-80 OPC and pull a pack fresh Wayne Gretzky rookie card. Having been too young when the cards were available for 20 cents and not having the $13495 for a box or $300+ dollars for a pack, all I can do is dream and look at the math.
Before I get into the math, there are always assumptions one makes with probability.
All packs are sealed, unsearched and you don't look at the back to see what card is there.
Each pack has 14 cards, no more and no less.
That each pack has randomized cards and by buying a box you aren't guaranteed to get a full set and you could get doubles of cards in the same pack.
Getting a Gretzky in a pack
Based on the set size and pack size, you have about a 3.48% chance of getting a Gretzky in a single pack. This includes the fact that you could get doubles of some cards in the pack.
Getting a Gretzky in a box
Based on set size and pack size, you have about an 81.72% chance of getting a Gretzky in a 48 pack box. This includes getting more than one which I am sure anyone spending 13K one a box would hope for a couple. Each box should give you 672 cards which in a perfect world would be a complete set and 276 other cards.
Here is a pretty cool image I found online of a Gretzky still in the pack.
Here is a shot of the front.
Just for fun, I did a computer simulation of opening a 79-80 OPC box.
Here are some of my hits:
1 Gretzky Rookie #18
2 Jets Logo #81
2 Oilers Logo #82
1 Ken Dryden #150
3 Gordie Howe #175
1 Bobby Hull #185
2 Mike Bossy #230
1 Nordiques CL #261
Virtual Box Break
329 out of 396 (83%)
In all, my virtual break wasn't as successful as I hoped...good thing I didn't pay 13 grand for it. 1 Gretzky is better than none, but the grade and condition could make or break it. Missing 17% of the set also sucks, but with 343 doubles I am sure I could have traded for the rest.
I enjoyed doing the virtual break and would like to maybe do some others, if you can think of other boxes that need to be "virtually" busted please send along some ideas!