Virtual Coin Toss

There are various places on the web to view a virtual coin toss. What makes this site different is the absence of any proximity requirement. Please see the full explanation below.



 The most recent coin toss is:  Tails / 0 

Tails photo
September 29, 2016, 04:22 AM (US Eastern Time Zone)
Current date/time: September 29, 2016 / 04:22:00 EDT


 To view a prior coin toss,
fill in this information:


 Date:   Hour:   Minute:  
Current date/time: September 29, 2016 / 04:22:00 EDT



Why this Virtual Coin Toss page?

There are various places on the web to view a virtual coin toss (VCT). What makes this site different is the absence of any proximity requirement.

This VCT page allows multiple parties in different locations to perform a coin toss which they all can verify separately. Most (if not all) other sites do not provide any means for the exact same toss to be viewed in more than one place at one time.

On this site, a VCT is performed once every minute, and the results are stored for some number of days. So, for instance, two individuals can agree that “We'll decide via the VCT at 2:15 PM (two minutes from now). I'm calling heads!” Both can then separately view the coin toss at that time. If one of them misses the toss (he was getting a beer), he can still look it up on the site later.

VCTs on this site are intended to be random, and are generated as follows: Each minute, a random number is fetched (via HTTP) from the web site random.org. Our request is tailored to always retrieve a one (1) or a zero (0); for our purposes, “1” is “heads” and “0” is “tails”. Please see random.org for a thorough explanation of how their random numbers are generated. (It's actually pretty cool, if you're into geeky stuff.)

“Immediate” toss

The IMMEDIATE button is provided so that instant VCTs can also be performed. These differ in that the random.org web site is queried at that very moment to retieve a new random toss. This toss cannot be repeated or viewed independently. This is provided as an additional convenience. “One site fits all!” ;-)

Disclaimers, gotchas, caveats, fine print, etc.

Coin tosses are not necessarily available covering all times; hardware, software, and network problems, as well as maintenance windows, can prevent the data from being collected.

Sometimes this site will be down (see above).

At any time, for any reason, a different method than the one described above may be used to generate the random numbers. Occasionally, if for some reason some VCTs have been missed, some method of random number generation may be used to go back and “fill in” the missing data. Such occurrences are expected to be infrequent.

At this time, issues such as time changes for Daylight Saving Time have not been taken into account. We recommend that you refrain from using this page for times that occur during the hours of the time changes.

Coin tosses do expire (ie, they go away) after some number of days. The ability of the site maintainers to recover expired data is limited.

The site maintainers make no guarantees that all VCT data is random and legitimate: we can be bribed. Please write for PayPal info. ;-)

No guarantees of any sort are made. USE THIS SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Please send comments to:   <des@cs.duke.edu>.



Copyright © 2016 by Daniel E. Singer. All rights reserved.