‘What are the Odds?’ An online tool that can help solve DNA puzzles

Jonny Perl
Jun 3, 2020
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2m 57s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 17s
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11m 44s
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How you can use it
7m 08s
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Basic Operations
4m 52s
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Case Studies & Caveats
21m 35s
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The new beta version
14m 18s
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Live demo
4m 52s
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Announcements / prizes
8m 32s
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Questions / answers
12m 03s

About this webinar

When working with DNA for family history research, there are many scenarios where a "mystery match" will emerge. This person will share DNA with several people within a known tree, while their genealogical connection to the tree is not known. They could be someone with unknown or mistaken parentage, or simply an uncommunicative match. This webinar will show how "What are the Odds?" (WATO) can guide you towards answers to puzzles like these.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Jonny Perl is a genealogist, DNA enthusiast and web developer based in Swansea, Wales. He is the creator and founder of dnapainter.com, an award-winning web application for chromos
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  1. BB
    Barbara Breidenstein
    2 years ago

    This gives me hope of being able to find who my father’s mother’s family was.

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    A lot of material to cover in a short time. Moved quickly but at least I can see again. Very interesting!

    A great help to adoptees!

    A great intro to the tool. As an engineer, I understand the concept of comparative probability – but it is a bit head-turning, isn’t it? Thanks Jonny and team, and especially to you Geoff and Marian for arranging these sessions.

    A great presentation.

    a little confusing but excited to try it

    A little over my head, but I’ll watch his Intro to DNA Painter and then this one again.

    A little pacey, but very good indeed 🙂

    A must re-watch. great information and easily explained. Thank you.

    a picture is always worth a 1,000 words and a coloured one is more valuable – thanks for the webinar

    A tremendous thanks — well done.

    Absolutely brilliant, Jonny always such a good speaker

    Absolutely fantastic.

    Absolutely the best ever!!!

    Added another “ToDo” to my long list. Looks like a great tool for my brickwall research.

    Always love listening to Jonny Perl. I have known about this tool since RootsTech 2019 but have not unddrstood how to use it. This webinar cleared up a lot of my questions and I am excited to try it out. One caveat….lots of endogamy in my ancestry but it still may be helpful to sort out some of the dna matches.

    an eye opener. I had heard about dna painter and until today I never knew the depth of the program

    Another excellent webinar. The subject stretches my thinking! Thank you for that!

    As a beginner it is confusing. However I think if I just get started, things will become more clear.

    As I am a beginner, I found it really interesting, but at times a little beyond me. That is not a criticism, just where I am. Thank you very much, I intend trying this now to solve a major mystery.


    Awesome presentation. I wanted to know what WATO was and how it works. Planning to forward a link to my newly found cousin, She could really benefit from using WATO since her parentage is not what she grew up believing it to be.

    Awesome! New features!

    Best WATO presentation ever!!

    Blew my mind!

    Bravo Jonny! You are totally amazing and a genealogy trail blazer for DNA!!!

    Brilliant webinar from Jonny!! I’ll be watching this again with a friend and start using WATO – he’s made it more understandable. Thanks Legacy for these fabulous webinars – best educational options for genealogy!!

    Brilliant webinar that came through crystal clear.

    Brilliant! Can’t wait to look at Beta…

    Brought me clarity on how to use it and will make it so much easier in figuring out where my matches fit in!

    Can I make my score a 5+? My understanding of WATO is now 100% better. Thank you.

    Cannot wait to watch again and absorb more information.

    Can’t wait to try it

    cant wait to try this out!

    Can’t wait to try this out.Thanks

    can’t wait to try tool.!

    clear, informative, inspiring. Thanks!

    Cool tool. I’m not familiar with it enough yet to fully appreciate the webinar.

    Definitely requires some more study on my part.

    Do another one, with case studies. DNA matches but you have clue who they are and can’t find them on each other tree because they are 3+ cousins.

    Enjoy all of J. Perl’s creations. Keep them coming! Thanks!

    Enjoyed the information and this website. Will have run learning with this new tool.

    Excellent although possibly a little over my head yet. Will try it out though.

    Excellent but the Beta was over my head–I got lost.

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Excellent in all respects. Looking forward to using this tool for DNA.

    Excellent information and great tool!

    Excellent information. Will try out the new tool. Thank you!

    Excellent introduction

    Excellent Presentation

    Excellent presentation and tool!

    excellent presentation on a complex topic! Thank you

    excellent presentation. I have been able to put up several WATO trees and help discover unknown relationships. Once you understand the tool, it makes it so exciting …… BIG thanks to Johnny, and Leah and you Geoff

    excellent presentation…but I’ll still have to review!!

    Excellent program!

    Excellent speaker, explaining difficult concepts well, excellent handout. Jonny Perl is one of the best assets to DNA and genealogy field today, in my opinion. THANK YOU!

    Excellent Webinar! Jonny is the best!

    Excellent webinar! Thank you Jonny and team for these awesome WATO updates!

    Excellent webinar! Thanks!

    Excellent webinar. I will look at this again. Complicated subject WATO. Good to be able to see the webinar over. Well done.

    Excellent! Thanks for this great tool.

    Excellent!! Thanks very much.

    Excellent!!! I just need to start using the tool before re-watching the webinar to gain the most benefit from Jonny’s presentation today.

    Excellent, both content & presentation

    Excellent. Ready to listen/watch again to have it really sink in.

    Excellent–great analogies! Eager to try it out!

    Exceptionally good webinar.

    Excited about the beta!

    explained so well for such a complex subject



    Fantastic webinar, great to hear all about the new Beta WATO, cannot wait to put it to work. Thank you


    Fantastic! Amazing! I loved it! I finally feel I ca make real headway in finding my NPE!

    Fascinating and thanks for asking my question Geoff


    For me it was technically involved, so I would have to play it over and over to understand. I think I liked the format and it was very interesting.

    Good info. Clearly explained info. Good presenter. Lovely to listen to his accent (from my U.S. point of hearing). It WAS a little too fast. It’s not that I couldn’t understand what he was saying; it was just too fast for me to comprehend before he was moving on to the next thing. I always felt a step or two behind. Glad the recording is available so I can go back to it again & this time pause it when I need to let my brain catch up. Thanks to Legacy & Jonny!

    Good information

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Good presentation, very clear on how to use a complex tool.

    Got in late but what I did hear was very interesting. Can’t wait to see the whole webinar . Thanks so much.

    Great as usual. The information was very helpful.

    Great content and excellent presentation. Thank you.

    Great info!

    Great info, well presented in a logical, easy to follow way. Amazing tool.

    Great info. It was a little fast at times for such a new concept.

    great information

    Great information and hope to start using it soon.

    Great information but very fast-paced! I need another viewing to absorb more.

    Great information for helping to track down dna ancestors

    Great information! I look forward to visiting the DNAPAINTER website.

    Great information. Will be checking this out.

    Great job, Jonny!!

    Great new features in the beta that I’m looking forward to exploring. Thanks, Jonny! I loved the analogy of using distances to Salt Lake City and Las Vegas!

    Great one

    Great presentation — Thanks

    Great presentation and explanation of the WATO tool! Jonny was very helpful in making me understand the features of WATO and how to use the amazing tool he created to help further my genetic genealogy research.

    Great presentation to help understand DNA

    Great presentation. Now to make it work for me…..

    Great presenter, but topic way out of my experience and comprehension.

    Great topic……hoping to use WATO to find my adopted son’s father and mother for him. Look forward to viewing more webinars.


    Great webinar! And handout! Thanks to Jonny Perl for all he does.

    Great webinar!! Jonny made WATO understandable. I watch a presentation from Roots Tech that someone did and I was totally lost.

    Great webinar!!! Will probably have to watch this multiple times to absorb all of the nuances of Jonny’s presentation.

    Have a lot to learn

    have not used WATO yet (did respond to polling question) so I will have to try it to get used to it. Many thanks to Jonny!

    This was the best webinar I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. Thank you. So well organized. Clear. Great humour and so much information.

    I am a relative beginner and this was above my level of knowledge, tho very interesting.

    I am going to give it a try to help several “cousins” find bio-parents.

    I am very new to all this and it is confusing, but it is all very interesting. Thank you.

    I can’t wait to apply what I learned!

    I enjoyed the webinar, and look forward to trying this out soon.

    I have not yet tried WATO although I have started painting in DNA Painter. Looking forward to new ventures with WATO. Thanks Jonny for a clear and informative presentation. I also heard you at RootsTech London.

  5. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    I have successfully been using What are the Odds for quite some time and it was great to hear Jonny’s presentation and to hear about version 2!

    I have tried WATO and had some difficulties. Hope after this presentation I will more successful. Thank you for the webinar.

    I have used WATO before, but the seminar gave me new insights and enthusiasm.

    I have used WATO several times, and I feel reasonably confident about my understanding of its purpose and its navigation. But as predicted by Jonny at the outset of today’s webinar, I experienced some very helpful “ah-ha’s” as the webinar proceeded. I’m excited to return to the tool with the new features now in play. Great webinar! An enormous thank you, to you and to your team, Jonny, for the WATO tool itself, the ongoing improvements to it, and forthe great support for users with sessions like this.

    I haven’t used WATO yet, but have been looking for ways to research a brick wall and a puzzling match. This looks very promising. Thanks!

    I learned a lot and will try it out. Thanks

    I learned quite a bit, and am looking forward to trying WATO

    I love the improvements to the tool and can’t wait to try them. Thanks for both the case studies and live demo.

    I need more basic information to get to this point. It was well presented and understood. Will review this again later

    I need to get into DNA painter and eventually use the WATO. I will need to replay the webinar to see the details better.

    I need to play with this tool!

    I need to start on the bottom rung of DMA exploration

    I plan to try DNA Painter! Excellent program.

    I really need to try DNA painter and then listen to seminar again

    I think I have a better notion of how to search for the elusive great grandfather. Thank you!

    I think it was a thorough overview of WATO, and even though I have not used it before I have more confidence in starting to work with it. Thank you for offering it for free today.

    I thought Jonny was very good at explaining difficult concepts in an hour-long setting.

    I thought Jonny’s first case study with Brian, even though an easy case study, made how WATO works easier to understand. Wonderful presentation

    I was looking forward to this so much. Never disappointing learning from Jonny. Love these webinars!

    I will have to relisten as it was complicated but I am excited go try it.

    I will need to watch again (maybe more)!! to fully understand.

    I will watch this again with the handout and then try it out.

    I’m just beginning to use DNA information so most of Jonny’s talk was very new but it is good to know that there are other ways to connect DNA matches. Thank you.

    Incredible presentation! He is able to make highly technical information easy to comprehend and readily share it with the world – freely (not to mention, without cost!)

    Interesting concept! I can’t wait to try it!! You can’t have too many DNA webinars!!

    Interesting presentation. I am anxious to look into the WATO concept.

    Interesting, but a little overwhelming. Working through it on your own would probably make all the information given come into focus. Will try out DNA Painter.

    It is so marvelous that people like Jonny, Leah, and Andrew have been willing to share their mathematical and analytical abilities with we genealogists to help us validate our findings. With all the sadness over the COVID flu right now, it is such a blessing to see good people doing good things for mankind!

    It moved fast, but I have not used the tool yet. I’m so glad it will be available to watch several times. And thanks to Leah, Andrew and Jonny for inventing this. I have a case I’ve been trying to prove or disprove on my tree within 4 generations, and this will be the perfect tool!

    It truly was a great webinar. I wish I had had more DNA knowledge before listening.

    It was a bit overwhelming but a presentation I will watch again. I have an unknown close match that I will look forward to exploring with WATO. Thank you!

    It was a bit overwhelming but I am a novice. It was good information I am sure I will find helpful eventually.

    It was a fabulous webinar. Jonny does a great job presenting his information. Thanks so much for designing this incredibly useful tool and helping us understand how to use it.

    it was easy to follow and very helpful.

  6. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    It was explained in a way that I can understand. I can’t wait to get started with the tool. Thank you.

    It was great and I do have problem I wish to solve but I guess Ill have to list to it again s it was a bit over my head.

    It was great and very informative. I appreciate the work they do to make the search faster and on target

    it was great to keep up to date with DNA Painter and hear about the Beta version from Jonny himself.

    It was great. So informative. I will go back to DNA painter with a new zest for genealogy.

    It was packed with information. Hope I can remember it all. It went so quickly I will need to revisit the presentation as a video so that I can stop and start it in the places I needed more time to digest all of the information.

    It was very good and well done. Thank you.

    It was very helpful seeing how you input matches into WATO

    It was very informational and am excited to check out the beta. I use WATO all the time. Thanks again!

    It was very interesting and will probably be very helpful as I am starting to do DNA research. Jonny did a great job with a complex subject.

    It went a bit fast for me but I now feel that I should be able to at least try out the tool.

    it went a little too fast for me to comprehend everything, but still very good

    It will be interesting to see what response you receive from the 64% first timers because from my perspective having listened to Leah several times, Johnny’s introduction on his website and tried several trees to find my husband’s unknown maternal grandfather, the light is growing a bit brighter but I’m afraid I still have more sessions testing the trees and listening to the explanations to feel confident with what I am doing with the tool. However, I’m thrilled to have the tool available and eagerly waiti

    I’ve discovered that my DNA mystery will remain that way as it is too far back.

    Johnny did a really good job of showing how to use WATO.

    Jonny explained it well. I just haven’t yet found a case where I can use it to sort out matches, but I’m sure I will when I explore them more deeply.

    Jonny is always interesting. He takes a complicated subject and uses great analogies to help make the information understandable. His tools are terrific, too!

    Jonny is an excellent presenter.

    Jonny is an excellent speaker.

    Jonny is an inspiration, thanks so much

    Jonny is very clear and logical in his explanations. It makes it easy to go to the site and work with it.

    Jonny is very impressive and the moderator was helpful. Information was challenging.

    Jonny Perl’s DNA Painter tools are brilliantly engineered by him and the colleagues he works with. It’s great to hear him, personally, talking about and explaining them to us. His passion for not only his own genealogy but helping others to achieve their genealogy goals just shines through.

    Jonny was excellent as usual. I look forward to viewing the webinar again to see if I’m setting up my mystery top match correctly as well as using the syllabus. He’s a treasure as is Legacy.

    Jonny’s webinars are excellent – especially liked his analogy about finding out where one is in the dark.

    Jony Perl is brilliant! and such a gracious, generous man!!

    Just love the free tools from DNA Painter and these webinars too!

    Learning about the Beta version was awesome. I have used WATO and while I still haven’t solved my question, I love seeing the possibilities. As an adoptee WATO is invaluable.

    Looking forward to trying WATO!

    Lot of info to work on. Thanks.

    Love the case studies and the hands on examples of setting up the tree. I have tried before and got confused at how to start. Also love the GEDCOM idea to make all of this easier.

    love the handout.

    Love the work the Jonny and his team have put together for us. Thank you

    Love this webinar!! So very well presented that even an idiot like me can understand! Thanks to Jonny for his time and effort to explain the WATO.

    Loved hearing more about WATO (which I’ve used) and the new features. Thank you!

    Loved it. I can’t wait to go and use what I learned today

    Loved the analogy of a map with multiple known locations to find another location.

    Loved the webinar.

    Made my Day!! Jonny Perl has taken one step closer for everyone!!

    More by this presenter, thank you.

    most interesting

  7. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Motivation to get back to tackling some DNA issues!

    Must watch again and then give it a try.

    My husband and I have recently been using WATO to help others with their family mysteries. This webinar provided increased confidence in our ability to successfully use this tool and we look forward to the new, enhanced version with gedcoms! Thank you.

    Need to learn more about DNA and use Jonny’s methods.

    Nice to know it exists, but more sophisticated than where I am currently. Still a “beginner”

    Now I have to go learn about DNA Painter. I’ve definitely heard about it, but haven’t taken the time to learn about it.

    now to get started with this tool

    once again my head is spinning – so glad I can watch again!


    over my head again!! I’ll be back

    Really enjoyed Jonny’s presentation. I use WATO quite often and am excited to try out the new Beta version.

    Really interesting and can’t wait to try out the beta version. Thanks to Jonny 🙂

    Really interesting, but I will have to listen three or four more times at least to get a grip on how to make this work. Thank you!

    really useful and well explained and practical

    Simply amazing! Thanks for all the great work!

    So excited about the new features/functions of the WATO Beta!

    So excited to see the beta upgrades. I’ll get busy using them.

    So informative and helpful! I loved the Salt lake City and Las Vegas analogy, it made things click for me about shared matches. I also loved the case studies as they helped to illustrate common challenges and how to use WATO to try to figure them out. I can’t wait to try out the new beta!

    So much amazing information. Can’t wait to try the beta. Thanks so much to everyone involved in providing this and of course to Jonny

    Super well done! Thank you.

    Thank you Jonny Perl for a very easy to understand lecture on WATO (excited about the BETA!) and a BIG THANK YOU to Legacy Family Tree Webinars for making it possible and for making DNA Painter webinars and syllabi free to all.

    Thank you Jonny! Always wonderful to hear your presentations and they are very clear and descriptive.

    Thank you so much! I have always wanted to learn more about this, just couldn’t grasp it. Will give it a shot now!

    Thank you very much. I appreciated you doing an example during the Q&A. I am a visual learner and this helped me understand the process more clearly. Great presentation. Can’t wait to use the tool.

    Thank you!

    Thank you, Jonny!

    Thanks for providing such great information, looking forward to using the new version and figuring things out!

    That was awesome! I’m hoping the beta version will help shed some more light on a problem I’m working on.

    that was really good. learned lots and all being well will find ancestor

    The beta version is awesome, with what little I looked at it so far. Thank you, Jonny Perl!

    The how-to part of the webinar was great. Loved that Jonny announced the beta to us first!

    The information is great. It was so quick that I didn’t quite understand everything. I’ll go back and watch the Introduction video and rewatch this one to understand it better. Thanks for all of the wonderful webinars.

    The presenter did a good job of presenting a complex topic. It was a new subject for me, so I found it moving too quickly for me to follow precisely, but I will definitely look into it further.

    This has inspired me to go and have a look at this tool. I had seen it on the DNAPainter website but never realized how to use it. And with so much other genealogical stuff to do, it never grabbed my attention. Today’s seminar in a short period of time really showed how useful a tool it is.

    This is now the best webinar!

    This is second WATO presentation I’ve attended. It’s somewhat clearer each time. I don’t really have any use for it in my tree – my unknowns are much too far back. I have, however, matches with a few people looking for their parent(s) or other close relatives. It would be nice to be able to give them this information. I will take a closer look at one of these in particular.

  8. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    This was a very informative webinar. I have been putting off using WATO until this webinar. Now I am looking forward to it and am excited that I waited so I can use the new features in the beta version!

    This was excellent. Informative. Clear. Well presented. I rarely have the patience to listen intently for long periods of time. This webinar was an exception. I was engaged from beginning to the very end. Kudos to you all for a great learning experience.

    this was informative for all levels of users.

    This was really great! I can’t wait to try it!

    This was the best webinar I have attended! It took all of my control not to run over to DNA Painter but at the same time I didn’t want to miss a word.

    this was very interesting. after searching for 20 years for my grandfather, i feel like a beginner still. i am hopeful that using WATO will help me in my search.

    This Webinar covered considerable material at jet speed. It would be worthwhile to cover portions of the material in sections, each containing more detail on discussion of the alternatives with the logic for each possibility.

    This webinar was just fantastic. I appreciate the wonderful handout and all the work that Jonny has done.

    Time just flew. This is the first time I heard Jonny speak I really got caught up in his enthusiasm. I have used WATO before working on doing my paternal matches in DNA painter ongoing. Rally looking forward to giving BETA a whirl so off I go. Much thanks to Legacy and Jonny.

    To the point-no wasted time. Useful graphics and samples.

    Very clear and concise explanation. I have used WATO for a while and love it. I do get a bit muddled sometimes with amounts of DNA and where to put hypothesis so was great to hear and see more examples of it’s use. Love the new beta but am glad the older version is still there. Will be trying it later today as have to go out now!!!

    Thanks Jonny for you work and ongoing efforts to help us all uncover these mysteries in our trees.

    Very clear and informative – I should be able to use it in my husband’s tree. Thanks very much!

    Very clear and informative. Also great to have the Syllabus for free. I look forward to using the tool with a bit more confidence!

    Very clear and made me want to try it out

    Very clear and useful.

    Very cool new options in the BETA version!

    Very encouraging for finding unknown parentages

    very excited about new tool

    Very good but a bit over my head, I fear! I have a lot of reading and practicing to do!

    Very helpful indeed thank you all! I now have to see if this can cope with my specific problem which is a wonderful challenge to have. Im looking forward to beginning, but suspect I may have to wait, if there are many people trying to upload .gedcoms at the same time. Thanks again.

    Very helpful to get the explanation of the new beta functions.

    Very helpful to hear the developer explain DNAPainter. This is the second time I’ve attended a training and I think I can use it now!

    VERY helpful, but MUCH more work involved to sort out my Dad’s birth father from about 18 potentials!

    Very informative

    Very informative and I hope to use DNA Painter soon!

    Very informative and interesting!


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