Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 3 - "Longshot" - Not So Great Expectations

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

In "Longshot," Charlie explains that the racetrack uses a pari-mutual betting system - the odds of winning vary with the amount bet on each horse. This system not only calculates proportional payoffs for the bettors, but also guarantees a profit for the racetrack owners by removing a percentage of the money bet before the rest is split among the winners.
This activity examines the mathematical expectation of the player - the amount a person can expect to win (or lose) in the long run on average.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.