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Chances Are: Part III

Chances Are: Part III

by Michael Wiesenberg |  Published: Jul 27, 2011

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In my last column, we saw how chances are expressed. Put 100 marbles in a box, 60 black and 40 white. Reach in and pull out a marble. There is just enough room for your hand, so you can’t see what you grab. You have 40 chances in (or out of) 100 of pulling a white marble. That figure is usually expressed as 4 out of 10, or 2 out of 5. As a fraction, it becomes a 2/5 chance; as a decimal, a 0.4 chance; as a percent, a 40 percent chance. How about the odds? There are 60 black and 40 white, or 60-to-40 against getting a white marble. That can be expressed more simply as 6-to-4, or odds of 3-to-2 against. You often see odds expressed in such a form that the two numbers add up to 100, or 10. Thus, it would be equally likely to ...


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