How Many M&Ms Fill an Olympic-Size Swimming Pool?

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Just Ask’s Innovative Candy Calculator

Dr. Boney measures the volume of gumballs.

“Most people are going to use [the calculator] to find out how much candy they’ll need to fill their candy jars or treat bags, but we thought it would be fun to use it on something really big, like an Olympic-size swimming pool."

You won’t find Michael Phelps diving into this swimming pool. That’s because it isn’t filled with chlorinated water; it’s filled with M&M’s candy, at least in theory.

“The point of our swimming pool experiment was to show how easily we could calculate the amount of candy needed to fill any space with our new web tool. Most people will use it to find out how many packages of Jolly Ranchers or jelly beans they’ll need to fill their candy jars or treat bags, but we thought it would be fun to use it on something really big, like an Olympic-size swimming pool,” said Dr. Evans Boney, Director of Marketing at, and creator of the new calculator.

Dr. Boney is also’s resident Candy Scientist, with undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics from MIT as well as a Ph.D in Theoretical Chemical Physics from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Boney goes on to explain that the calculator is based on scientific principles of excluded volume per available space; i.e., how much air will be left between candies of different shapes, also called the “packing fraction.”

“You also have to take into account the size of each candy, and about how many are included in each package. Creating an algorithm that includes those factors allows us to fill any candy dish, jar, bag -- or swimming pool -- with just the right amount of candy.”

So, about how many M&M’s could you pour into CandyWarehouse’s theoretical Olympic-size swimming pool before it reached its nominal depth of 2 m (6 ft 7 in)? Approximately 2,395,160,000 (2.4 billion). That would be 958064 five-pound bags containing about 2,500 M&M’s each.Calculate it for yourself by entering the volume of the container (2,500,000,000 milliliters), and clicking “How many bags?”

Creating specific formulas for all of the company’s 6,988+ unique candy products will take time, according to Boney. Each shape category requires a new filling factor, each manufacturer requires a unique measurement, and many candies, like the spiral-shaped Tesla’s Tiny Twist Pops, will defy classification. Boney already has calculators for hundreds of the company’s most popular bulk items, including M&M’s, Jelly Bellies, and Sassy Spheres items in a wide variety of colors. Other products will continue to add the calculator as their measurements are completed.

“We’re excited to see people using the calculator . . . another great tool that makes shopping on intuitive and efficient,” says Christopher Pratt, founder and President. “But while we’re always experimenting, innovating and investing in new technologies, we believe personal one-on-one service can never be replaced. There are simply too many online businesses where customers can’t get any help from a real person, and that’s not OK.”

Customers can always call, email or live chat with CandyWarehouse’s customer care experts to clarify, brainstorm, or calculate the right amount of candy they’ll need for their next event or celebration.

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Evans Boney Inc.
+1 (310) 343-4099 Ext: 119
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