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Published on November 15th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

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Video: Science behind carnival games may help you win, or at least save your money

Published on November 15th, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD

[Image above] Credit: Mark Rober; YouTube

 

 

Remember that ginormous Super Soaker that former NASA engineer Mark Rober built a few months ago?

 

Well, it turns out that water guns aren’t the only things that Rober enjoys science-ing the snot out of.

 

Rober recently posted a new video on his YouTube channel all about carnival games and the science behind winning—or, more accurately, not winning—them.

 

It’s obvious that many popular carnival games all come down to complete luck and chance—as a kid, my favorite was tossing ping pong balls into glass fishbowls. I almost always ended up going home with a goldfish in a plastic bag, probably much to my parents’ dismay (sorry, mom and dad!).

 

But there are other games that you can actually win at, if you know a few of the tricks. And just as important is knowing that there is one set of games that are nearly impossible to win, no matter how impressive your skills are.

 

So settle in and watch the video below—it’s likely to be one of the few times you hear discussion of kinetic energy, statistical probabilities, and center of mass in relation to carnival games!

Credit: Mark Rober; YouTube

 

 

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