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Riddles and Answers © 2018

Die Toss Riddle

One in six. A die has no memory of what it last showed.
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The Traffic Light Riddle

The probability of the driver encountering a yellow light and the light turning red before the car enters the intersection is about 5.5%.

At 45 mph the car is traveling at 66 feet/second and will take just over 3 seconds (3.03) to travel the 200 feet to the intersection. Any yellow light that is in the last 3.03 seconds of the light will cause the driver to run a red light.

The entire cycle of the light is 55 seconds. 3.03/55 = 5.5%.
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The Prime Number Riddle

Hint: Remember that 1 is not a prime number.
Those that remain behind must have written {1,4,6,8,9} and from this only {1,9} are odd. The probability of an odd number is thus 2/5.
Expected number of odds is 2/5 * 90 = 36
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Russian Roulette Riddle

Russian Roulette
Probability puzzles require you to weigh all the possibilities and pick the most likely outcome.

Puzzle ID: #17681
Fun: *** (2.59)
Difficulty: ** (2.07)
Category: Probability
Submitted By: JMCLEOD****
Corrected By: cnmne

You are in a game of Russian Roulette with a revolver that has 3 bullets placed in three consecutive chambers. The cylinder of the gun will be spun once at the beginning of the game. Then, the gun will be passed between two players until it fires. Would you prefer to go first or second?

Label the chambers 1 through 6. Chambers 1 through 3 have bullets and chambers 4 through 6 are empty. After you spin the cylinder there are six possible outcomes:

1. Chamber 1 is fired first: Player 1 loses
2. Chamber 2 is fired first: Player 1 loses
3. Chamber 3 is fired first: Player 1 loses
4. Chamber 4 is fired first: Player 2 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 4 empty. Second shot player 2, chamber 5, empty. Third shot player 1, chamber 6 empty. Fourth shot player 2, chamber 1 not empty.)
5. Chamber 5 is fired first: Player 1 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 5 empty. Second shot player 2, chamber 6, empty. Third shot player 1, chamber 1 not empty.)
6. Chamber 6 is fired first: Player 2 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 6 empty. Second shot, player 2, chamber 1, not empty)

Therefore player 2 has an 4/6 or 2/3 chance of winning.
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Blue Eyes Riddle

Hint: Given my brother's blue eyes, what are the odds on my pair of eye-color genes?
1 in 3.

Since my brother has blue eyes (bb), both of my parents carry one brown and one blue gene (Bb). The three possibilities for my genotype, equally likely, are BB, Bb, and bB. Thus, there is a 2/3 chance that I carry a blue gene.

If I carry a blue gene, there is a 50% chance I will pass it on to my first child (and, obviously, 0% if I carry two brown genes).
Since my child will certainly get a blue gene from my wife, my gene will determine the eye color.

Multiplying the probabilities of those two independent events, there is a chance of 1/2 x 2/3 = 1/3 of my passing on a blue gene.
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The Coin Toss Riddle

Hint: Think what would be most likely to happen if you chose HHH, would this be a good decision?
The answer is to let your friend go first. This puzzle is based on an old game/scam called Penny Ante. No matter what you picked, your friend would be able to come up with a combination which would be more likely to beat yours. For example, if you were to choose HHH, then unless HHH was the first combination to come up you would eventually lose since as soon as a Tails came up, the combination THH would inevitably come up before HHH. The basic formula you can use for working out which combination you should choose is as follows. Simply take his combination (eg. HHT) take the last term in his combination, put it at the front (in this case making THH) and your combination will be more likely to come up first. Try it on your friends!
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The Cheap Mp3 Player

With only 6 tracks on the player:
The first chapter has been set to play first. The probability of the next 5 chapters playing in order is 1/5! = 1/120.

With the music on the player as well:
Seeing as I don't care about when the music plays, it doesn't change anything. The answer is still 1/120.
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The 3 Inch Cube Riddle

Hint: Visualize the core of the cube.

The core of the 3 inch cube when cut, has all faces that are not painted. Hence at least one cube with no painted face always occurs.
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Yahtzee Riddle

Hint: Think of the probability of NOT getting a full house.

The answer is NOT 2/3 because you cannot add probabilities. On each roll, the probability of getting a 2 or a 4 is 1/3, so therefore, the probability of not getting a 2 or a 4 is 2/3. Since the die is being rolled twice, square 2/3 to get a 4/9 probability of NOT getting a full house in two rolls. The probability of getting a full house is therefore 1 - 4/9, or 5/9.
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The Secret Santa Exchange

Hint: It's not as difficult as it seems. It's the number of ways the friends can form a circle divided by the number of ways the names can be drawn out of the hat.

For a group of n friends, there are n! (n factorial) ways to draw the names out of the hat. Since a circle does not have a beginning and end, choose one person as the beginning and end of the circle. There are now (n-1)! ways to distribute the remaining people around the circle. Thus the probability of forming a single circle is

(n-1)! / n!

Since n! = (n-1)! * n (for n > 1), this can be rewritten as

(n-1)! / (n*(n-1)!)

Factoring out the (n-1)! from the numerator and denominator leaves


as the probability.
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Post Your Probability Riddles Below

Can you come up with a cool, funny or clever Probability Riddles of your own? Post it below (without the answer) to see if you can stump our users.
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