Click the cover to order your copy!
Illustrated by Philip Reeve
This book was
published in 2001
by Scholastic Ltd
with a different cover

Do You Feel Lucky?

Suitable for ages 10 upwards

"... my favourite book ..." chosen by statistics expert Professor David Spiegelhalter at Cambridge University!

What are the chances of:

Discover all the secrets of being lucky or unlucky including what factorials are and the amazing Pascal's triangle.

We also help the terribly lovely Veronica Gumfloss sort out her boyfriend selection, we find out how many ways there are to eat the Friday Special at The Ravenous Rajah, we see the Great Rhun of Jepatti play a really mean trick, and see why Weasel and Chainsaw end up doing the dishes.

Don't forget to click the EXTRA links for more details that we didn't have room for in the books!


One Day in the Forgotten Desert

Urgum the Axeman and Grizelda the Grisley are fighting it out for each other's scalps - but Thag the Mathemagician suggests throwing a die instead. But is the game really fair?

Before We Enter the Strange World of Probability...

As we see Pongo McWhiffy attempt to entice the terribly lovely Veronica Gumfloss on a date, we learn lots of words such as probable, unlikely, evens, odds, dead cert and "spawny tinker". We then find how all chances must add to 1, how the Gollarks nearly blow themselves up and a pigeon's chances of successfully dive bombing people on station platforms.

How Not To Lose Your Trousers

Binky Smallbrains shows why gambling is for mugs - and we discover the true story of "The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo"

Fair Play

Snakes and ladders isn't the same when you play with Riverboat Lil and Brett Shuffler! They explain what "odds" are and how you can use them to make simple games involving tossing coins or dice fair. We also use a "tree diagram" to stop Professor Fiendish winning with one of his diabolical cheating games!
EXTRA - Hannah's Sweets, the GCSE probability question

Heads or Dishes

The gangsters toss a coin to settle a restaurant bill, but why doesn't it have to land on heads half the time? The mystery of coins is explained with a visit to Pongo McWhiffy's vest drawer. (Not recommended for the faint hearted.)

One of the Most Gorgeous Things in Maths

Caitlyn dressed as Riverboat Lil for World Book Day 2021.
Watch out for her swamp adder!
Pascal's Triangle is so simple to draw out, yet it sorts out all sorts of unlikely and amazing problems including tossing coins, Pongo's burger bar and yet another diabolical Fiendish trap.
EXTRA - The Fabulous Pascal's Triangle

Perms, Coms, Curries, Burgers, Bells and the Lottery

When you read a book about probability, you can be pretty sure that somebody will come up to you and ask "Oooh! Will I win the lottery?" To get the answer, this chapter explains all about "combinations" and along the way we'll generate some amazing sums involving hundreds of numbers, which you'll be able to work out in seconds without a calculator ! And how do Pascal's Triangle, Veronica's boyfriends and church bells all get involved?

    EXTRA - More Lottery Chances
    EXTRA - Why does 0! =1 ?
    EXTRA - How many ways can you put a pack of cards in order?

Dice Dates and Devious Decks

Meet the Chevalier de Mere- a 17th century gambler whose dice inspired the whole subject of probability. Find out the odds on Monopoly, play Brett and Lil's Vicious Circle game and then prepare for a shock involving your friends birthdays. Finally the biggest numbers in this book appear, and you can make your own bit of history!
EXTRA - Chances of Card Hands

When Meteors Collide and Monkeys Type

Some things are so unlikely that they seem impossible - but are they? What are the chances that a monkey typed this book?

Making PI with a Cocktail Stick

An amazing experiment to produce a value for "PI". It's a lot more fun than massive long formulas!

Adding Adders

There's a mud hole full of swamp adders. You can't get to the ones at the bottom, so how do you count them all? Lil and Brett show you how!

Go THIS way Go THAT way
Some Odd Odds

Lightning striking twice, finding a clean pair of socks and the cannon shoot out between Urgum and Grizelda. Strange stuff!

Spots Spinners and Silver Dollars

One or two crafty little games that look fair but you'll win!

The Great Rhun's Golden Egg

Quite the nastiest trick in this book! Don't try it.

So What Do You Think Now?

When you think about the chances of life elsewhere in the universe - you'll feel lucky to be here.


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