Skepticism

It Pays to be a Virgin

Okay, not a virgin per se, but a Virgo. At least according to this illuminating article from Forbes.com:

What’s your sign? If you are a Virgo, we’ve got some good news for you. Turns out, more members of the Forbes billionaires list share your zodiac sign than any other.

This groundbreaking conclusion came about after an exhaustive study by the Forbes staff, with key input from four (FOUR!) experienced astrologers. These paragons of intellectual rigor scanned the birthdates of the 793 Forbes billionaires to find out which magical configuration of celestial bodies is the biggest influence in determining how much cash is in your wallet.

The innovative researchers did have to overcome a few challenges. For starters, they apparently could only find the star signs of 613 of the billionaires. The reason why is left unsaid, but one can only assume that it is due to the common billionaire trait of keeping one’s true age a secret. After all, if you spent $4 million on your own private youth regenerator powered with the blood of the innocent, you wouldn’t want to come out and admit you’re actually in your mid-fifties.

The Forbes scienticians discovered that 70 of the 613 billionaires studied are Virgos, an astonishing number considering that the law of averages dictates that there should only be 51. In other words, about 8% of a random sampling of people should be Virgos, but in this case a whopping 11% of (these selected) billionaires are Virgos.

Of course, if the remaining 180 billionaires were included, the numbers could be anywhere from 8.8% to 31.5%. But still, the conclusion is undeniable — Forbes, one of the most popular and well-regarded financial magazines currently in publication, advises you to start punching holes in the condoms in January if you want your future spawn to strike it rich and take good care of you in your old age. Talent, perseverance, and intelligence? Who needs all that when you have the stars on your side?

Oh, and Saggitareans? Sorry, but it turns out that you’re a bunch of pathetic jerks.

The least common sign among billionaires? Sagittarius, which represents just 6% of the world’s wealthiest. Folks born under this sign are sometimes described as unorganized or even sloppy, and more focused on the big picture than on little details. “Counting on their luck and the grace of God, adventurous Sagittarians can act like tourists in the marketplace,” explains astrologer David R. Railey.

Make sure you “Click here for billionaire horoscopes” so you can comfort yourself with the fact that although you had to buy that Louis Vuitton knock-off at TJ Maxx, at least you don’t look like these Forbes billionaire trolls.

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Post-publishing note: I keep forgetting to mention on here that Chicago TV news anchorman Larry Potash interviewed me for an article recently published in the Chicago Tribune Red Eye. Those of you in the area, make sure you check it out!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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5 Comments

  1. Let's see: 613 / 12 = 51 or so. So you do expect there to be 51 per sign.

    But this is small number statistics. What's the amount of deviation you expect in such a sample?

    In this case, it's the square root of the sample size, if the distribution is random (let's assume it is, being rational people). root(51) is close enough to 7, so you might expect any number between 44 and 58 to be in any given sign.

    70 is a little more than two deviations away, which may sound like a lot, but remember, we have 12 bins. Getting 70 in one bin doesn't sound too fishy to me.

  2. It's been a while since I've picked up Forbes (for the second time), so I don't remember it having an entertainment section. Was this done for April 1st??? I'm not going to look at the article because I would prefer deliberate ignorance to finding out that Forbes really took this seriously.

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