Posts in Notes
Two-Envelope Problems

In this piece we play with two incredibly counterintuitive puzzles involving a pair of envelopes which contain unknown amounts of money. First we describe a famous fallacy when it is known that one envelope contains double the money in the other. Then we discuss an actual mechanism (probably first discovered by Thomas Cover in the 70’s) for achieving a better than 50-50 chance of picking the larger amount. This latter is one of the most stunning puzzlers in probability theory, and we dissect precisely what is going on there.

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NotesK.M. Halpern