From an article on monkey business, in the Dominion Post:

In 2003 an experiment was started called The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator. The programme simulates a vast number of monkeys typing at random to see how long it will take them to produce a Shakespeare play.

To date, the cyber monkeys have not done very well. It has taken them the equivalent of 2,737,850 million billion billion billion years to produce a phrase from Henry IV, Part 2: “Open your ears…”

One mathematician calculates that if the universe contains 17 billion galaxies, each containing 17 billion stars, each containing 17 billion inhabitable planets, and each planet supported 17 billion monkeys all typing a random line of type per second for a billion years, their chances of producing “To be or not to be, that is the question” is almost but not completely zilch. You stand a much better chance of winning the lottery a hundred times in a row.

Despite this, probabilists figure that, given enough time, it is not only probable but inevitable that the monkeys will write Shakespeare. They also argue that if the monkeys had started their project far enough back in time, they would have written the plays before Shakespeare himself.

Who says math is boring?