Analyzing the Solution
Is it reasonable?
Students learn about Hot Potato,
a lottery game that was played in Wisconsin,
which cost a dollar to play and had payoff
probabilities as shown in the table below.
Students then experiment with different ways
to model the game. First they estimate how
many people out of 10 win each payoff, how
many out of 100, how many out of 1000, and
so on. Then they model the problem with a
probability distribution. They discover that a key
payoff value is missing from the probability table:
the expected payoff per game. Students then
calculate the missing payoff value and learn that
the expected payoff per game is about $0.55.
They evaluate the impact of this payoff value
from the point of view of the individual player as
well as the Wisconsin Lottery Commission.