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Topic: [ncsm-members] Settling Disagreements - Evens and Odds
Replies: 0

 Jerry P. Becker Posts: 12,135 Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Settling Disagreements - Evens and Odds
Posted: Oct 19, 2011 6:44 PM
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16, 2011. See
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By Marilyn Vos Savant

As children, my siblings and I often settled a disagreement with a
game called "Evens and Odds." In this game, one side is assigned
"evens" and the other is assigned "odds." Then, on the count of
three, a representative of each side reveals a number of fingers from
zero to five. If the sum of the two numbers is even, the "evens" win;
if the sum is odd, the "odds" win. Is this method fair? Or do the
"evens" have an advantage? -Andy G., Cedar Hill, Mo.

The game is fair. One might guess that the "evens" have an advantage
because the sum of two even numbers is even and the sum of two odd
numbers is even, too. Only an odd number plus an even number will
yield an odd sum.

But there are two ways to get an odd sum: (1) an odd plus an even,
and (2) an even plus an odd. So there are twice as many odd sums as
you might think.

"Evens and Odds" is a nice game. The odds are even!

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Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244
E-mail: jbecker@siu.edu