Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Arul:

Xavier, Yvonne, and Zelda each try independently to solve a problem. If their individual probabilities for success are  1/4, 1/2 , and 5/8 , respectively, what is the probability that Xavier and Yvonne, but not Zelda, will solve the problem ?

Thanks for ur help in solving this


Hi Arul.

Since they work independently you just multiply the probabilities together Arul.

For example, if I spill my coffee 1 out of 10 mornings, drop my toast 2 out of 25 mornings and miss my bus 1 out of 4 mornings, then what is the probability that on a given morning I will spill my coffee, drop my toast, but catch my bus? It is 1/10 x 2/25 x 3/4 = 6/1000.

Stephen La Rocque.

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