Probability: a video game premise

Having two teenagers means continual tutoring. The tutor mentions how he got schooled by his thirteen-year-old.


My thirteen-year-old plays a video game that begins with 100 players, but ends with only one. It’s a free-for-all: each player tries to avoid being eliminated, and can eliminate (“kill”) other players. The last player alive wins. Occasionally my son has won.

The other day my son, while playing the game, observed that two “kills” is better than average. He just intuitively knew so, but I wondered. He’s right, and here’s how I’ve come to agree with him:

Every round, there are 99 “kills”, but 100 players. Therefore, each player’s expected number of “kills” is 99/100, or 0.99. Someone who gets two kills has beaten the average.

Good thing it’s just a game:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.