Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Sharon, a parent:

A basketball player is given 2 freeshots, if the probability of making 1 of the 2 shots is 3/4 what is the probability of making 2 of the 2 shots or both shots?

Hi Sharon,

Each of the free throw shots is an independent event meaning that the outcome of one does not effect the out come of any future events. If you want to know the probability of multiple independent events occurring, you need to multiply each probability together. Let's look at a similar example with a six sided die:

What is the probability of rolling a 5 and then an even number?

The probability of rolling a 5 is 1/6 while the probability of rolling an even number is 1/2 so


So there is a 1/12 chance that both events occur.

So what is the probability that the player will make bother shots?


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