A question of odds

Hello math gurus, here's one for ya. I'm one of the 50 finalists for the Green Science Instructable competition ( yay me - a pleasant surprise to get this far! ) , there are a total of 18 prizes, what are the odds of me winning a prize? If there was just one prize even I could work out that I'd have a one in 50 chance, but I don't know how to figure the complexity of multiple prizes. I'd appreciate an answer, please show your workings :-) Cheers, Bosherston

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westfw9 years ago
Um, not to be pedantic or anything, but since selection of finalists for prizes is NOT a "random chance" occurrence, "odds" doesn't really apply...
bosherston (author)  westfw9 years ago
I beg to differ. Only in the the abstract can you get true, I stress TRUE "random chance" occurrence. Odds can be applied to all else surely? If we approach each model with the aim of setting the odds and appreciate all known data , can we not then start to get a handle on the likely outcomes of an event? Ok it's a given that the foibles of a judging team make it an extremely complex model....
Fine. But in that case, only in the abstract can you use the simplified mathematics people have been talking about to calculate the odds, and you become a bookmaker instead of a mathematician. Mathematical statistics is based on the abstract... (which ought to make you really suspicious of most statistics, of course!)
whatsisface9 years ago
I think it's as simple as 18 in 50, which reduces to 9 in 25 or 36%
Actually, there are 28 prizes, including 10 DISCOVER magazine T-shirts and 10 books.

But yes, if each contestant can only win one prize at a time, 28 out of 50 contestants will win a prize, so your chance of winning something would be 28/50 = 56%
Patrik Patrik9 years ago
Actually, I count 51 finalists, so 28/51 = 55%.
I counted only 49 finalists today! So now the odds (whatever they are) must be greater?
bosherston (author)  Patrik9 years ago
Your right, I could have sworn that wasn't there the other day, good luck to them. I was too late for the early entry prizes so didn't count them.
That's still about 1/2 =o)
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