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Old 10-06-2016, 09:41 AM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 14,041
Odds problem - roll a pair of dice

A math teacher friend of mine shared this problem on Facebook and we are disagreeing about the solution. Here is the problem verbatim:

"Two fair dice are rolled together, and you are told that 'at least one of the dice is a 6.' A 6 is removed, and you are ten shown the other die. What is the probability of the other die showing a six?"

My friend thinks the answer is 1/6, because the dice rolls are independent events and regardless of what one shows, the other has a 1/6 chance of being a six. I'm quite positive this is incorrect.

My reasoning is: if you roll a pair of dice, there are 36 possible combinations: (1,1), (1,2), (2,1), etc. Out of these 36 combinations, 11 contain at least one six: each 6 paired with 1-5 on the other die, and double sixes.

Since we are told that the pair contains at least one six, we have 11 possible combinations with equal chance of occurring. If a six is then removed, only 1 of the remaining 11 dice is another six. So I maintain the answer is 1/11.

However, the meme that she posted is multiple choice and 1/11 is not one of the available answers, which are: 1/18, 1/36, 2/11 and 1/6.

At first I jumped on the 2/11 thinking "there are two chances to pick a six from the pair of doubles!" But that logic falls apart I think. I'm back to 1/11. How am I wrong?