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Win or Lose?

A gambler bets half the money in his pocket on the toss of a coin, winning an equal amount for a head and losing his money if the result is a tail. After 2n plays he has won exactly n times. Has he more money than he started with?

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Fixing the Odds

You have two bags, four red balls and four white balls. You must put all the balls in the bags although you are allowed to have one bag empty. How should you distribute the balls between the two bags so as to make the probability of choosing a red ball as small as possible and what will the probability be in that case?

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Scratch Cards

To win on a scratch card you have to uncover three numbers that add up to more than fifteen. What is the probability of winning a prize?

Nine or Ten?

Age 14 to 16 Short Challenge Level:
If I roll two dice, I can score a total of both 9 and 10 in two different ways:

9 = 3 + 6 or 4 + 5

10 = 4 + 6 or 5 + 5

Convince yourself that you are more likely to score 9 than 10 when you roll two dice.

If I roll 3 dice, which is more likely, a total score of 9, or a total score of 10?

You can find more short problems, arranged by curriculum topic, in our short problems collection.