Ensuring that our measurements are fair and unbiased means randomizing our results. The fully randomized scientific experiment has been held up as the holy grail of scientific experimentation. And at Fortunate 500, we like to think we’ve found several holy grails (we have a Doctor of Indiana Jones Studies on our staff). So all our results are fully randomized, but our real skill is in justifying them afterward. We don’t just randomize our results; we’ve made a science of randomization. Some of our techniques include:

  1. Tortoise racing: we write the names of our institutions on the back of tortoises and race them. With the exponential growth in some institutions, though, we are running out of tortoises.

  2. Binary Growth Observation (also known as BINGO): We “borrowed” a BINGO machine from a local retirement center.  We then wrote the names of academic institutions on the balls, and the order in which they come out is the order in which we rank them (the first out of the machine is the best, last is the worst).

  3. Numerical Algorithm Generator: our most sophisticated of analytic tools, this is an app one of our interns had on their smartphone. We can enter any word, and this impressive app sorts it out into a random number ranking with the press of a button.  It’s as scientifically valid as any other system (and its made our intern very happy to have invested last month's entire paycheck in the latest smartphone).


Studies demonstrate luck is one of the most robust predictors of academic reputation and learning outcomes. In fact, luck is highly correlated with the listing of a university in one of the four most well-known ratings.
The Fortunate 500 University Rankings represents the first break-through study in the precise measurement of luck.