"Don't worry", the broker says. "I know an empirical algorithm that allows me to find the number of the winning horse with absolute certainty." This does not convince the mathematician.

"You are too theoretical!" the broker exclaims and puts his $10,000 on a horse. The horse comes in first - making the broker even richer than he already is. The mathematician is baffled. "What is your algorithm?" he wants to know. "It's rather easy. I have two children, three and five years old. I add up their ages and bet on that number." "But three plus five is eight - and that horse had number nine!"

"I told you that you're too theoretical! Didn't I just experimentally prove that my calculation is correct?!"

As it happens, they drink too much at the party, and on Monday morning, they are all hung over and oversleep. When they finally arrive on campus, the exam is already over. They go to the professor's office and offer him an explanation: "We went to our friend's birthday party, and when we were driving back home very early on Monday morning, we suddenly had a flat tire. We had no spare one, and since we were driving on backroads, it took hours until we got help."

The professor nods sympathetically and says: "I see that it was not your fault. I will allow you to make up for the missed exam tomorrow morning." When they arrive early on Tuesday morning, the students are put by the professor in a large lecture hall and are seated so far apart from each other that, even if they tried, they had no chance to cheat. The exam booklets are already in place, and confidently, the students start writing.

The first question - five points out of one hundred - is a simple exercise in integration, and all four finish it within ten minutes. When the first of them has completed the problem, he turns over the page of the exam booklet and reads on the next one:

Problem 2 (

"I don't understand it!" the interrogating officer exclaims. "You're an accomplished professional, a caring family man, a pillar of your parish - and now you want to destroy that all by blowing up an airplane!"

"Sorry", the professor interrupts him. "I had never intended to blow up the plane." "So, for what reason else did you try to bring a bomb on board?!"

"Let me explain. Statistics shows that the probability of a bomb being on an airplane is 1/1000. That's quite high if you think about it - so high that I wouldn't have any peace of mind on a flight."

"And what does this have to do with you bringing a bomb on board of a plane?"

"You see, since the probability of one bomb being on my plane is 1/1000, the chance that there are two bombs is 1/1000000.

If I already bring one, the chance of another bomb being around is actually 1/1000000, and I am much safer..."

"That's easy: one, one, and twelve."

"But twelve isn't odd!"

"It's an odd number of cubes to put in a cup of coffee..."

"Not 'not paper and not plastic'!"

"Well, according to statistics, there are 42 million alligator eggs laid every year. Of those, only about half get hatched. Of those that hatch, three fourths of them get eaten by predators in the first 36 days. And of the rest, only 5 percent get to be a year old for one reason or another. Isn't statistics wonderful?"

"What's so wonderful about all that?"

"If it weren't for statistics, we'd be up to our asses in alligators!"