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July 2004
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How many boys and girls?

The reason that the puzzle is not well determined is that even if the chances of birthing a boy or a girl are the same (actually boys are slightly more likely) people can have different policies as to when to stop having children.

For example, in the Kingdom of Kurdustan the noble families stop having children once a male is born - they fear having younger sons. In Kudrustan the answer is that 100% of the time there are two girls and a boy.

On the other hand in the Duchy of Bad Minton people like to have two boys in the family but no more. They stop having children once that second son is born. In Bad Minton the answer is that 100% of the time there are two boys and a girl.

On the gripping hand, in the oligarchy of Mucho Moola, people think that having three children is enough and that two daughters are plenty. In Mucho Moola the second child must be a boy (else they would have settled for two daughters) and it is 50/50 whether the third child was a boy or a girl.

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This page was last updated July 1, 2004.

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Puzzles
July 2004
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