on a/the toss of a/the coin

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on a/the toss of a/the coin

1. Literally, based on the outcome of a coin toss (i.e., the 50% chance that it will be either heads or tails). The team who starts off with the ball is always decided on the toss of a coin. We both wanted the last slice of pizza, so we're letting the outcome be determined on a toss of a coin.
2. By extension, purely at random; relying entirely on chance. New restaurants come and go in this area, their fates essentially decided on the toss of a coin. The economy is such an unpredictable beast that it seems to change on a toss of a coin.
See also: coin, of, on, toss
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
BOCAUE -- On the toss of a coin, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolved a tie in the mayoral race in this first-class municipality following Monday's elections.
CRICKET: Drakes League Scholes are through to the quarter-finals of the Heavy Woollen Cup on the toss of a coin. Having failed to complete their second-round match against Bradford League Pudsey Congs and being unable to stage a bowl-out because of heavy rain, a coin toss was carried out by competition officials.
Believe me, he would not decide something as important as his future on the toss of a coin.
PORTUGUESE legend Eusebio last night admitted losing a European Cup tie to Celtic on the toss of a coin still haunts him.
He said: "Deciding the game on the toss of a coin was not football.
The title went to Colstons for the fifth time but it was a close-run thing as they only made it to the final on the toss of a coin after a 3-3 semi-final draw with Tynedale Schools.
"One of the remarkable features of the story here is that the appellant pleaded guilty and signed a document, having told her lawyers that she would make her final decision on the toss of a coin," Mr Justice Irwin told the Appeal Court.
Last night West Ham clinched the hotel on the toss of a coin, while Liverpool are 'relegated' to the plush St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay.
The decision was made on the toss of a coin yesterday at the Edinburgh offices of the Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association.