Home > Math Lint Archive Detail

<< Prev 2/12/2012 Next >>

Benny Hill's Odds

The British comedian Benny Hill once said: "The odds against there being a bomb on a plane are a million to one, and against two bombs a million times a million to one. Next time you fly, cut the odds and bring a bomb."

First, create a discussion: Is Benny Hill's argument mathematically correct? For example, are the events independent?

Second,are there other situations (i.e. not involving bombs), where Benny Hill's Logic applies and would prove useful?

For example, are we using this logic when driving on a freeway and seeing a police car. Don't we assume that we could speed now, as the odds of seeing another police car nearby is quite low...ah, the charm of a speed trap!

Other examples?