A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 01, 2015
“The odds are good, but the goods are odd” (male-female ratio)

Male-to-female ratios are disproportionate at some schools (such as engineering schools or former women’s colleges), but heterosexual students note that a large proportion of geeks and gays can cancel this out. “The odds are good, but the goods are odd” is a popular saying.

The saying originated in Alaska by at least 1986, and “Alaska, Where the Odds Are Good But Some of the Goods Are Odd” became a popular T-shirt. By the 2000s, the saying became popular at such schools as Carnegie Mellon University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and Georgia Institute of Technology.


6 July 1986, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Alaska is a land of extremes, hardship and great beauty” by Bill Monroe, pg. E12, col. 3:
It is also a land of mostly men, although more and more women are taking up the challenge. One woman in Cordova—where the ratio is higher than five men ot each woman—was asked about the availability of the oposite sex and replied: “The odds are good...but the goods are odd.”

29 August 1990, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Alaska: Where people read T-shirts, not books” by Gus Schrader, pg. 2A, col. 1:
Remembering there are 14 men to every woman in Alaska, they turned out a T-shirt with this legend:

“Alaska, Where the Odds Are Good But Some of the Goods Are Odd.”

Google Books
Catch and Release:
The Insider’s Guide to Alaska Men

By Jane Haigh, Kelley Lammers-Hegarty and Patricia Walsh
Homer, AK: Ridgetop Press
1997
Pg. 67:
But keep in mind that old Alaska adage, the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Google Books
The Best 331 Colleges
By Robert Franek, Tom Meltzer and Roy Opochinski (Princeton Review)
New York, NY: Random House
2001
Pg. 236:
Or, as a first- year puts it, “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”
(Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.—ed.)
Pg. 720:
“There are lots of complaints about the attractiveness of the female students, but we females have our own saying about the guys at CMU—‘The odds are good, bu the goods are odd.’”
-- Beth M., Carnegie Mellon University

Everything2
The odds are good, but the goods are odd
(idea) by Maayan Fri Jun 01 2001 at 18:22:53
The way I heard the story told, this phrase was coined (or at least first applied to college students) by the women of Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech, “where the girls aren’t”, is notorious for its high male to female ratio. In that way, girls who attend Tech are (supposedly) overrun with admirers, so “the odds are good”. However, many of these admirers have never before had a conversation with a woman, so “the goods are odd”.

Google Books
College Prowler:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Off the Record

By Ned McTIgue
Pittsburgh, PA: College Prowler
2005
Pg. 72:
“Well there are a ton of guys; the odds ar getting better, though. One of the biggest sayings on campus by girls is: ‘the odds are good but the goods are odd.’ There are many strange guys, and you’ll most likely run into them a lot. But there are some really good looking guys and a lot of nice guys.”

Google Books
College Prowler:
Carnegie Mellon University, Off the Record

By Daniel Liebermann
Pittsburgh, PA: College Prowler
2006
Pg. 77:
“The saying on campus for guys is, The odds are good, but the goods are odd.’ There are a lot of nerds, but the guys are generally decent and really nice. A lot of them sit in front of the computer playing games all day.”

Google Books
The College Buzz Book
By Carolyn C Wise and Stephanie Hauser
New York, NY: Vault
2007
Pg. 44:
Guys complain that there aren’t any girls and girls complain that there are too many nerdy guys hanging around ("the odds are good but the goods are odd").
(At Caltech.—ed.)

The Times (London)
Wanted: female high-flyers for a date in Silicon Valley
Rhys Blakely Los Angeles
Published at 12:01AM, March 6 2014
The lovelorn males of Silicon Valley have hit upon a cunning new plan to find romance: a website that will import women.

Females searching for men in the heartland of California’s tech industry have long lived by the maxim “the odds are good, but the goods are odd”.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Tuesday, December 01, 2015 • Permalink