The Super Bowl's Coin Toss Curse Hasn't Been Broken Since 2014

We all face a wide range of decisions in our lives. Every day is marked by so many of them. Often they're simple and largely insignificant, such as what to have for breakfast that morning or which tie to wear. However, some are more consequential. For example, deciding where to take a vacation that year can have significant repercussions.

Choices like whether to marry or have children are some of the biggest we make in our lives. These are soul-searching sorts of choices. Meanwhile, if you're unsure about where to get your takeout from that evening, a coin toss is probably justified. The toss of a coin, we often think, is the perfect impartial decision-maker when there are two options to choose between. The classic heads or tails, in low-stakes scenarios, clinches many a discussion. We bow to its will.

In sports matches, where the stakes are super significant, coin flips can decide who begins games, which goal end a soccer penalty shoot-out is taken from, and so on. This is fair, generally speaking, because such things don't have an influence on the outcome of a game. Except, it seems, in the case of one of the most significant sports matches of all: the Super Bowl. A curious coin curse seems to doom one of the teams to failure.

The significance of the Super Bowl coin flip

The Super Bowl, of course, is so much more than a football match. It's a rite of passage, a proud tradition, a sporting event of tremendous significance. Every moment, from the half-time show to the carefully-collated commercials, is a huge deal. So, too, is the coin toss. In February 2021, ESPN stated that the opening coin flip is always an enormous moment for sports betting.

The Super Bowl coins themselves are plated in silver and gold and created by the Highland Mint, featuring elaborate designs. Highland Mint Executive Vice President Vince Bohbot insists that said design has little bearing on the results of the flip: " ... there might be a minute difference on one side or the other. It depends on the design ... it doesn't appear to have affected where the coin is landing," he told ESPN.

Fansided (via MSN) reported on February 1, 2023, that, of 56 Super Bowl coin tosses, there had been 27 heads and 29 tails. As expected, there's precious little to choose between the two. Far more interesting, though, is another statistic related to those coin tosses.

The truth of the curse?

According to CBS, at Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, the Seattle Seahawks played the New England Patriots. At that point, reportedly, exactly half the teams that won the coin toss had lost the match, and exactly half that won the coin toss had won the match. It had no bearing at all on the game's results.

That particular year, the coin favored the Seahawks, but they lost the game. Again, nothing unusual there. As football fans will attest, though, there seemed to be something in the air that year. In a dazzlingly coincidental streak, the Super Bowl coin toss curse has ensured that the winner of the toss hasn't won since.

CBS debated at the time how the Los Angeles Rams, who called the toss at the 2022 Super Bowl, would fare. American Betting Experts has the answer to that: they lost the toss but won the Super Bowl. Choosing to receive does open up the first chance to get on the scoreboard, the outlet states, so there is a potential momentum advantage there. A minuscule one in the grand scheme of things, though, and this often doesn't even come into play.