What are the Odds?

WPI math prof Marcel Blais discusses the Powerball phenomenon

Marcel Blais and Pam Cross

By now, everyone's heard the odds for winning tonight's $550 million Powerball drawing are steep. How steep? Try 1 in 175 million.

But what does that mean exactly? Marcel Blais, assistant teaching professor of math at WPI, puts it all in perspective during an interview today with WCVB-TV (Channel 5 in Boston) reporter Pam Cross.

Consider the following analogies. Blais tells Channel 5 that winning the Powerball is akin to: 
• Having 27 grandchildren that are all female 
• Rolling two dice 104 times and never coming up with the number "7" 
• Flipping a coin 27 times and landing on heads every time

Tune in to WCVB-TV/Channel 5 tonight at 5 and 6 and learn more.


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