1. People who play dice or buy lottery tickets are eventually bound to win big.
False: Winning numbers or combinations are selected randomly and there is no specific time that anyone can
predict a winner.
2. If you flipped a coin 9 times and if it came up heads each time, it's bound to be tails the 10th time.
False: Each time a coin is flipped, there is a 50/50 chance with heads or tails showing. How many times one or
the other has appeared in the past has nothing to do with the outcomes occurring in the future. If a person flips
a coin a thousand times, each side will appear about 50% of the time.
3. If you buy a Lotto ticket, your chances of winning the big prize are about 1 in a 1,000.
False: The chances of winning the big prize are about 1 in 14 million. However, the odds of winning something,
however small, are better than 1 in 1,000
4. You should gamble only when you feel lucky.
False: How people feel has nothing to do with winning or losing. People should always keep in mind that in any
gambling operation the odds always favour the house, which is in the business of making money.
5. Some gambling activities require skill.
True: Gambling in a poker or black jack game, or guessing how many chocolate smarties there are in a jar, does
require some skill. (Learners will be able to name some other games of skill.) People should remember that when
gambling against the “house” in activities like buying a Lotto ticket, or gambling in a casino, the element of skill
is minimized because the odds always favour the “house”, which will always take in more than it pays out in
prizes. That is what enables it to make a profit and stay in business.
6. People who gamble generally spend more money than they win.
True. The house advantage guarantees that the operator takes a share of each bet.
7. If you know your sports team well, you're sure to win when you bet on them.
False: It helps to know the teams, but the odds are against the gambler.
8. Some types of gambling involve greater risks than others.
True: Games that are played quickly or have high betting limits have greater risks than games that are slow-
paced and have low betting limits. All gambling involves chance, but in games that involve some skill, like poker,
luck will even out in the long run and therefore the better player will beat the worse player over time. It is because
of the element of skill in poker that casinos charge a fee for organizing poker games, but don't for games of pure
chance because the house can set the odds in their own favour.
9. If you know the pattern of the numbers, you can predict which number will come up in the next throw of the dice.
False: Dice, cards, slot machines and roulette wheels are random number generators. Each throw of the dice, or
spin of the wheel is unconnected with the previous outcomes. There is no pattern. The outcome of the wager or
bet is unknowable (can't be known by any means) to the participants at the time they make their bet. That is what
makes it gambling and therefore risky behaviour.
10. Trying to pick a specific card, you stand to be wrong 51 out of 52 times.
True: There are 52 cards in a standard deck. The probability of picking a specific card is, therefore, 1 in 52.
Grade 9 | Unit 9.4 | Page 13
Learning Activity Sheet with Answers
Grade 9 | Unit 9.4 | Page 14
11. Gambling can be fun for people.
True: Gambling is always linked to games which are played primarily for fun. Problem gamblers' sense of reward
has been so distorted that no other activity can compete with the excitement and stimulation they derive from
12. You have as much chance of winning the big Lotto prize as being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime.
True: the chances of being struck by lighting twice in one's lifetime are about 1 in 14 million! However, it is
unclear how exactly the probability of being struck by lightning has been worked out: For whom? Over how long
a period? In which environment? It shows how difficult it may be in some cases to work out probabilities!
13. If you know the pattern of winning numbers, you will increase your chances of winning at dice.
False: dice are random number generators which means that there is no pattern to the sequence of numbers.
Each throw starts afresh with the same odds and probabilities as each previous (and future) throw.
14. If someone in your family has a problem with gambling, it is best to keep it a secret and not tell anyone.
False: There are many people who have problems with gambling. The family member isn't the only one. Problem
gambling is treatable. Contact the professional counsellors on the Responsible Gambling helpline who know how
best to deal with the problem.
15. The best way to avoid spending too much money when gambling is to decide how much you can afford to spend
and stick to this amount.
True: The important thing is to make a responsible decision ahead of time and then to stick to that decision. If the
gambler decides beforehand what reasonable amount of money can be spent (given other priorities like
household budgets, etc), the temptation of trying to win back losses when all the money is spent is avoided.
16. If you pick your own number for a fafi bet, you have a better chance of winning than if you rely on a dream for
False; Fafi numbers are selected at random. That means that no amount of interpretation, no amount of “inside
information”, or no person can predict the outcome. Each number has as much chance as another.
17. Angela is going for her driving test. There are two possible outcomes. Either she will pass or she will fail.
Therefore, the probability that she will pass is 1/2.
False: Passing or failing your driver's test is based on skill. If you drive well, you will pass. If you drive recklessly
or badly, you will fail. Of course, there may be an element of luck involved. For example, the instructor is called
away for an emergency and decides to cut the test short and not require you to do that tricky parallel parking.
Luck plays a small role however, if any - the outcome is based on your skills as a driver. That's something you
can control through practice.
18. In a form of Lotto, players choose 4 numbers 1 to 20. The set of numbers of 10, 11, 12, 13 is less likely to win
than a set of 4 numbers that aren't in order.
False: Every set of the same quantity of numbers has an equally small probability of winning.
19. Traffic lights can be red, green or orange. The probability that a traffic light will be red as you approach it is 1 in 3.
False: The green and red lights are programmed to shine for the same amount of time, whereas the orange light
shines for a much shorter period. The orange light therefore does not have the same duration as the red and
green lights. This changes the probability.