Friday, 27 February 2009

Deal or no deal?

Have you seen the channel 4 programme 'deal or no deal'? I am amazed at the number of people who do not understand the odds. It should be so easy to analyse the probabilities but hardly anyone does it. In fact it makes a refreshing change when someone is able to come up with a sensible basis for making a decision. It is a game of chance but once the first box has been chosen then you can use mathematics to help your decisions.

The chances of actually getting on the programme are pretty slim, so for most of us the closest we get to gambling may be at the bookies or with the lottery. Now if you are a mathematician you will realise that gambling does not make sense, particularly the lottery. So never worry about your maths leading you astray in the world of gambling. In fact maths will keep you on the straight and narrow. You can still gamble as a mathematician, but you will not be thinking of winning, just about the thrill of possibly winning.

That sums it up

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