With less than three months to go until the 2018 World Cup – providing no one throws a spanner in the works by boycotting the thing – we’re rushing to get our sticker fix.
However, with the price increase compared to Euro 2016, we’re afraid to announce it’s going to cost you a lot more to complete the sticker book than in the past.
The Euro 2016 album cost an average of £374 to complete, according to Cardiff University maths professor Paul Harper, and he has done the calculations again for this year.
With two extra stickers and a 60% jump in the price, you’d expect the overall cost to jump, though maybe not by quite as much as the reality.
If you get a different set of stickers in each pack you buy, you’ll still end up spending a minimum of £109.60, Harper told the Daily Mirror, but he accepted this turn of events is extremely unlikely.
Your best bet is finding friends to swap with; a group of 10 can reduce the number of packets needed by more than two thirds, but if you’re going it alone you need to prepare to spend a lot.
He came up with an average cost of £773.60 to complete the album – more than double the 2016 total.
That’s 967 packets at 80p a pop, but half of those packets would be required to get your hands on the final 19 stickers because…maths.
“What is interesting is that to collect just the last 19 stickers for the book, you would still be required to buy 483 packets of stickers, or half the total number of expected packets.
“Put another way, you are only half way through when you have just 19 stickers left to collect.”
If you’re curious about the calculations behind it all, it’s as follows:
“The first sticker you buy is absolutely guaranteed not to be a duplicate,” Harper explains.
“The second sticker you get has a 681/682 (99.85%) chance of being a new sticker.
“The third sticker you get has a 680/682 (99.7%) chance of being a new sticker, and so on.”
However, there are some tweaks in Harper’s formula, based on the fact you get exactly five stickers in each pack, and – of course – he can’t account for swaps in his initial calculations.
Put simply, if you don’t want to end up spending hundreds of pounds, you’ll want to get a group together to get rid of the extra squad players and increase your chances of grabbing those elusive shiny stickers.