Probability at the Derby

In  Junior Unit C math, the 4th graders placed their pretend bets on Derby horses today using this morning’s odds.  This week we learned about the many factors that influence the probability of a horse winning the Derby (parents, trainer, jockey, previous races, track condition, post position). Students had some time to look at the background of each horse. 

For today’s placing of bets, there were a variety of strategies used — going with the favorite (Nyquist, 3-1 odds), going with a long-shot (Trojan Nation, 50-1), or some combination of both.  With 25 students in the class and each student “betting” $10, Laura (the house) makes $250 up front.  Once the race is run (approximately 6:30 p.m. tomorrow), Laura will calculate how much students won and subtract that from the $250.  The house always wins, an important lesson to know about gambling.  

See Laura (who is from Kentucky!) in her traditional Derby garb!