Monthly Archives: January 2017

Guess the number

I haven’t posted a puzzle in a while.  The following problem has the usual nice characteristics; it works on a cocktail napkin or as a programming problem, via exact solution or simulation, etc. I am thinking of a randomly selected … Continue reading

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Probability of a Scrabble bingo

My wife and I have been playing Scrabble recently.  She is much better at the game than I am, which seems to be the case with most games we play.  But neither of us are experts, so that bingos— playing all … Continue reading

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Risk of (gambler’s) ruin

Suppose that you start with an initial bankroll of dollars, and repeatedly make a wager that pays $1 with probability , and loses $1 with probability .  What is the risk of ruin, i.e., the probability that you will eventually go … Continue reading

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