### Probability of finding a four-leaf clover

Short answer: around 1 in 2,000.

(Clarification: this is the probability that, if you pick up a single leaf at random, it will have four leaflets.)

Here is my collection of four four-leaf clovers (out of five, the fifth has shredded leaves), collected over a period of two weeks.

If you look at the wikipedia page (& refs therein), the most commonly cited figure is 1 in 10,000. Unfortunately there are no actual observations reported anywhere.

But now I can report that, according to my very empirical research, the probability of finding a four-leaf clover is probably more like 1 in 2,000.

## How do I know?

- I find that I can scan around 100 plants per minute.
- Most recently, I found two four-leafs in about 30min worth of scanning.
- This gives a rate of 1 in 1,500

The previous attempts have however been slightly longer, although I didn't time them as accurately. Also, the actual number of plants scanned per minute can vary due to wandering attention. So, I would think a more conservative estimate is ~1 in 2,000.

Of course, these are all in upstate NY, although not at a single location. Perhaps these rates vary with a whole bunch of other factors.

Still, these are fairly low odds - finding 5 four-leaf clovers, even with these better estimates, is still less than one in 10 quadrillion! (Clarification again: this is the probability that, if you pick five leafs blindly, all five will have four leaflets each.)

## 5 Comments:

I found six four leaf and one five leaf closer in my yard in a matter of two different views between last night and this evening ...in less than one hour looking and within a scion measuring 14inches x 14 inches...the odds?

Actually - are there more? Because you might have hit a patch of genetically 4-leafing clovers. That's how charm factories can sell so many on demand :)

My daughter and I found 10 four leaf clovers and 5 five leaf in ten minutes the first I have ever found

Tonight my son found 13 four leaf clovers and 6 five leaf. In a very short time in our yard.

Sherry

I think environment may play a part. In less than 2 hours time with only a few minutes scanning a small portion of my property in central MN, I found four 4 leaf clovers and one 5 leaf clover just today.

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