53.
Blaise Pascal knew that snake eyes (double ones) and boxcars (double sixes) very rarely turn up in throwing a pair of dice since they have a 36-to-1 chance of turning up whereas seven has a 6-to-1 chance. He understood that it would be easier to calculate the probabilitiy of not throwing a double six. That would be 35/36. He also understood that the probability of two independent events happening is the product of the probabilities of the individual events and that , therefore, the probability of not throwing a double six on n throws is (35/35)n. He calculated (35/36)24, and (35/36)25 to conclude:
Author: Joseph Mazur |