Friday the 13th - It's a fortune


This article contains some interesting stories related to luck, gambling and Friday the 13th. Perhaps it should be balanced by other readings which explain thoroughly the expected value and how in the long term the organisations that run gambling ventures have to be the winners.

Students could be asked to read this article and record all examples of probabilistic language they encounter. Examples include "odds", "probably", "chances", "one in 54 million", "certain" and "average". Then they can look for subjective words often used in this context. Examples include "unluckiest", "luck", "superstitious", "fortune" and "jinx".

They might also be asked to speculate about how the professor calculated the average number of Friday the 13th's there are per year.


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