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# Not Possible Trivia Quiz

### How likely do you think each of these events is - not possible, possible (but not likely to occur), probable (more likely than not to occur) or certain?

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.

Author
looney_tunes
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
332,266
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
1433
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (6/10), bigwoo (8/10), Guest 1 (7/10).
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Question 1
1. A friend recently described his football team's chances of winning the next day's game as being "as sure as the sun rising in the east". Does he think a victory is not possible, possible (but not likely), probable or certain? Hint

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Question 2
2. If I toss three coins, how likely is it that all three land heads up? Is it not possible, possible (but not likely), probable or certain? Hint

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Question 3
3. When playing Monopoly, you roll two standard dice and move the number of spaces that corresponds to the total showing on the top faces of the two dice. Is it possible (but not likely), probable, certain, or not possible that you will move more than one space in your turn (assuming you are not in Jail as you first roll)? Hint

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Question 4
4. The game of Twister involves players using a spinner to determine where they must place a part of their body without falling over. There are four colors (red, yellow, blue and green), corresponding to the four colors of circles in the playing mat, and four body parts (left hand, left foot, right hand and right foot) shown on the spinner. Is it possible (but not likely), probable, certain, or not possible that a player will have to place his left foot on a purple circle? Hint

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Question 5
5. As we settle down for a game of chess, my opponent will be moving first. Assuming that all possible moves are equally likely to be chosen (I do not know about this player's preferred opening strategy), is it certain, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible that the first piece moved in the game will be a pawn? Hint

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Question 6
6. When playing the game of bridge, each player is dealt thirteen cards from a deck of 52 cards. We used to play "no face, no play", meaning that if anyone received a hand that had no card higher than a ten they could call for a redeal. In an evening in which 50 hands are played, how likely was it that this would happen at least once - probable, possible (but not likely), certain or not possible? Hint

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Question 7
7. We are about to fly from Melbourne, Australia (where it is summertime) to Philadelphia, PA, USA (where it is early winter) for Christmas. How likely is it that it will be colder outdoors when we land there than when we take off - certain, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible? Hint

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Question 8
8. In the card game of War, players turn over cards simultaneously, and the player with the higher card showing wins the cards. If the cards have the same value, there is a war: three cards are played face down, and the fourth turned face up to see who wins. In a two-player game, with randomly-sorted cards, is it probable, possible (but unlikely), certain or not possible that the first two cards turned over will have the same value, leading to a war? Hint

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Question 9
9. While playing Scrabble (English language version), what are my chances of drawing an omega from the bag of tiles as I select the letters for my rack? Is it probable, certain, possible (but not likely) or not possible? Hint

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Question 10
10. At a party attended by 30 people, how likely is it that two of them would have the same birthday (month and date, not necessarily year). Is this certain to occur, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible? Hint

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. A friend recently described his football team's chances of winning the next day's game as being "as sure as the sun rising in the east". Does he think a victory is not possible, possible (but not likely), probable or certain?

Barring some catastrophic change to the workings of our solar system and the earth's rotation, the sun will always rise in the eastern half of the sky. If you look carefully, you will note that the actual point is somewhere between southeast and northeast, with the exact position depending on your location and the date.
2. If I toss three coins, how likely is it that all three land heads up? Is it not possible, possible (but not likely), probable or certain?

Answer: Possible (but not likely)

Since the probability of getting a head on each coin is 0.5, and assuming the three coins do not affect each other's results, the probability of getting three heads would be 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5, or 0.125. This can also be stated as one chance in eight, or a 12.5% probability.

As the probability is much less than 50% (which represents equal chances that it will or will not occur), this result is possible, but not likely.
3. When playing Monopoly, you roll two standard dice and move the number of spaces that corresponds to the total showing on the top faces of the two dice. Is it possible (but not likely), probable, certain, or not possible that you will move more than one space in your turn (assuming you are not in Jail as you first roll)?

Since the minimum value for each die is one, the minimum total is two. The total for any roll of the dice will always be between two and twelve. If you are in Jail, you may or may not be able to move. If you are not in Jail, you will always move at least two spaces. What happens after the first roll is unpredictable - rolling doubles, drawing a Chance or Community Chest card, or landing on Go To Jail all mean that your move may or may not end up being a total of spaces between two and twelve.
4. The game of Twister involves players using a spinner to determine where they must place a part of their body without falling over. There are four colors (red, yellow, blue and green), corresponding to the four colors of circles in the playing mat, and four body parts (left hand, left foot, right hand and right foot) shown on the spinner. Is it possible (but not likely), probable, certain, or not possible that a player will have to place his left foot on a purple circle?

Since purple is not one of the colors on the spinner, it is impossible to spin it. The rules of play vary according to the number of players (and, to some extent, between regions), but the overall aim is always to manage to contort yourself so as to move the nominated body part to one of the circles of the designated color without losing your balance and falling over. I always felt that my brother tickling me in the middle of the game was cheating, but he insisted that the rules don't say anywhere that you cannot tickle your opponent.
5. As we settle down for a game of chess, my opponent will be moving first. Assuming that all possible moves are equally likely to be chosen (I do not know about this player's preferred opening strategy), is it certain, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible that the first piece moved in the game will be a pawn?

Any of the eight pawns can be moved on the first move. The only other piece that can be the first one moved is the knight, of which there are two. This means that eight of the ten pieces that can move are pawns, so it is more likely than not that it will be a pawn that is moved to open the game.
6. When playing the game of bridge, each player is dealt thirteen cards from a deck of 52 cards. We used to play "no face, no play", meaning that if anyone received a hand that had no card higher than a ten they could call for a redeal. In an evening in which 50 hands are played, how likely was it that this would happen at least once - probable, possible (but not likely), certain or not possible?

Answer: Possible (but not likely)

Although the Ace does not have a face, it is still considered an honor card in bridge, and our rule means that your hand of thirteen cards has to have 13 of the 36 non-face cards left after ignoring the Jack, Queen, King and Ace of each suit. The calculation for this is 36C13 / 52C13, which produces some very large numbers on the way to a probability of approximately 0.0036, or less than 1%. This is quite unlikely. In a long session, the odds increase because there are many hands, but before you would be likely to call it probable, the probability needs to be close to 75%, which requires over 200 hands. Of course, it might happen on the first deal!

In bridge, a hand with no card over a nine is called a Yarborough, after the second Earl of Yarborough, who famously offered a bet of 1,000 to 1 against such a hand being dealt. Since the actual odds are 1827 to 1, he was on a good thing.
7. We are about to fly from Melbourne, Australia (where it is summertime) to Philadelphia, PA, USA (where it is early winter) for Christmas. How likely is it that it will be colder outdoors when we land there than when we take off - certain, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible?

Melbourne's December highest temperature is usually between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, but hotter and colder days do occur. Philadelphia's average December temperature is 35.8 degrees Fahrenheit, around 2 degrees Celsius. While nothing related to weather is certain (an unseasonable cold snap could see us leaving in a wintry temperature around 5C, and a warm spell on the US northeast could produce a day closer to 10C), it is quite probable that we will find it colder on arrival than when we started. (My calculations from statistical records show a probability over 99%, so I'm going to carry a warm coat.)
8. In the card game of War, players turn over cards simultaneously, and the player with the higher card showing wins the cards. If the cards have the same value, there is a war: three cards are played face down, and the fourth turned face up to see who wins. In a two-player game, with randomly-sorted cards, is it probable, possible (but unlikely), certain or not possible that the first two cards turned over will have the same value, leading to a war?

Answer: Possible (but unlikely)

On the first play, the probability of a war is one in 51, or 1.96%. This is the same as the probability of drawing two random cards from the deck and getting the same value for each. At the start of the game, the two players have an equal probability of turning over the higher card, about 49% each.

As the game proceeds, however, the probabilities shift. A player who is on a winning streak will accumulate more high cards than one who is losing, and be increasingly likely to win again. This can all change if powerful cards are lost during a war - your 3 might beat my 2, and capture a couple of kings in the process.
9. While playing Scrabble (English language version), what are my chances of drawing an omega from the bag of tiles as I select the letters for my rack? Is it probable, certain, possible (but not likely) or not possible?

As omega is the 24th (and last) letter of the Greek alphabet, you are not going to find one in an English language Scrabble game. Nor will you find any numbers. There are 100 tiles (unless your dog ate one) including 12 with E, 1 with Q and two blanks that have no point value, but can be used strategically as a letter that is announced as the tile is played.
10. At a party attended by 30 people, how likely is it that two of them would have the same birthday (month and date, not necessarily year). Is this certain to occur, probable, possible (but not likely) or not possible?

The exact numbers involved in the calculations for this probability depend on whether or not you include February 29, but the general picture doesn't change. For a full mathematical explanation, you can search for 'Birthday Problem' on the internet, as the symbols needed are cumbersome to enter here.

If you have 23 people in the room, then there is better than a 50% chance that at least two of them will share a birthday. For 30 people, the probability is over 70%, which is better than two out of three. Of course, if you have 367 people, there must be two with the same birthday, since there are only 366 possible days including February 29.
Source: Author looney_tunes

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