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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Cereal Box Prize Distribution

In October 2015, General Mills introduced a line of Star Wars prizes in some of their cereal boxes.
Much like the boy who asked, "Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" I wanted to know:
How many boxes of cereal do I need to buy to get all the prizes?
If you looked at the image, screamed "6!" at your screen, and wondered why there are additional sections to this post, let me clarify: we don't know what prize is inside until we open the box.
It's random.
Now, we're in statistics country.

In statistics, we're all about distributions. That is, models that say how likely something is. You're probably familiar with at least one, the normal distribution (a.k.a. the Gaussian distribution, a.k.a. the bell curve).
If we think about GPA, the normal distribution says (if the average is a C), that C would be in the middle, which is also the most common. A would be far out to the right (which is less common)…