I made up this riddle myself, so I hope you will like it. And it is not an easy one.

Parents buy cookies for their kids. They are saving money so they buy two discounted ones (few days after best before). They don’t want to look greedy so they also buy two cookies for the full price.

When they come home their two kids grab cookies, and each get two. They don’t check best before so their choice is random.

Do you think that life is fair and each kid gets one expired and one good cookie? Or one kid gets both expired? What is more likely to happen?


Wrong reasoning:

-if I don’t know it’s 50/50

-One of the kids might get two expired cookies – 2 possibilities. Each gets one – only one possibility. Life is probably unfair.

-Only one out of two kids can take the second expired cookie – so it’s 50/50.

One more hint – the chances are not the same.


It’s more likely that life will be fair.

There are 6 options to distribute 4 cookies between 2 kids (4 above 2):

  • One kid and two expired cookies, there are 2 possibilities: kid 1 has 2 good ones or the 2 expired ones.
  • If each kid is to get one good and one expired there are 4 possibilities: each can get one of two expired and one of two good – (2x2).

In real life though the less likely possibility is sometimes more likely to happen :o)