Archive for The Gambler

The Gambler’s Puzzle

Posted in Cute Problems, Literature with tags , , , on December 17, 2013 by telescoper

The following is a quotation from the short novel The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:

I was a gambler myself; I realized it at that moment. My arms and legs were trembling and my head throbbed. It was, of course, a rare happening for zero to come up three times out of some ten or so; but there was nothing particularly astonishing about it. I had myself seen zero turn up three times running two days before, and on that occasion one of the players, zealously recording all the coups on a piece of paper, had remarked aloud that no earlier than the previous day that same zero had come out exactly once in twenty four hours.

The probability of obtaining a zero on a (fair) Roulette wheel of the European variety is 1/37. Assuming  that such a wheel is spun exactly 370 times in a day, determine the probability of obtaining at most one zero in twenty four hours as described in the quotation. Give your answer to three significant figures.

Answers through the comments box please!