Lottery Math – If You Play You Should Know Your Odds

Pop Quiz

Here’s a little pop quiz for you, my friends. Sorry, it’s a math quiz. But don’t worry, it’s easy and this is a math blog, after all. Little Johnny, a fifth grader, came home from school one day, visibly upset. His mommy asked what was wrong. Little Johnny told her that he lost out on a treat that his teacher had. He explained to his mommy that his teacher had just one treat, but there were ten students in the class. So each of the students put their names into a hat. Then the teacher randomly chose one name to receive the treat. The rest of the class got nothing. Little Johnny didn’t get the treat. He was upset.

Are you ready for winter?

To comfort him, mommy told Little Johnny that the odds of him getting the treat were against him from the start; his odds were a mere 1-in-___ (Fill in the blank).

Little Johnny didn’t appreciate his mommy spewing out odds as if she was a bookie. Seriously, is that all about, mommy? However, being a simple fifth grade math question, he knew the answer (as should you).

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