Totally Binomial

I always learn better if I can apply my lessons to video games. As warned by our professor, I am finding lots of real-world opportunities to use tools from our Statistics course. One of those was in the Facebook game Outernauts (a.k.a. Space Pokémon).

Part of the game involves battling creatures, which you can capture and collect. When you attempt to capture a new beast, the game will tell you the probability of success. Today as I repeatedly tried (and failed) to capture a monster I wondered: what are the odds that I really have a 39% chance of success (as the game claims), given that it took me over seven attempts to capture?

This is a job for the Binomial Distribution! It turns out that the probability of zero successes in seven attempts  is 3.1%. Suspiciously unlikely, but I ended up successfully capturing it on my eighth attempt, so this story has a happy ending.

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