In Blitzstein's *Introduction to Probability*, it is stated that the probability that any two people have the same birthday is 1/365. However, isn't this the conditional probability that the second person has the same birthday as the first person, given the birthday of the first person?

Couldn't I prove this by simply generalizing the formula that no *n* people have the same birthday:

$ P = 1 – (364 / 365)^n$

And simply call *n =* 2, so that I can interpret the probability of having at least 2 people with the same birthday as the probability that 2 people have the same birthday? This would not be 1/365.

Is my reasoning flawed?

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#### Best Answer

Unfortunately, yes, there is flaw. According to your purported formula, the probabilty of having two people with the same birthday, when you only have $n=1$ person, is:

$$P_1 = 1 – Big( frac{364}{365} Big)^1 = 1 – frac{364}{365} = frac{1}{365} neq 0.$$

So, you are ascribing a non-zero probability to an impossible event. Have a think about whether that is the correct formula, and what kind of change you might make to it.