Suppose you and a bunch of friends are sitting around a table.
There are N of you.
You have a jug of beer in front of you, which no one has yet tasted.
So you take a swig of it, and then pass it to your left or right with probability 1/2.
Now suppose your neighbor does the same---he/she takes a swig of it and passes it to his/her left or right with probablity 1/2.
Each player continues in this fashion.
Because the beer is moving back and forth randomly around the table, it may be a while before some people get to taste the beer for the first time.
Which person around the table is most likely to be the last one to try the beer?
Is it a person near you or far from you?
(Assume that the jug is bottomless, and never runs out.)
Source: Math fun facts
(In reply to re(4): computer solution
I don't see anything that explicitly says that the first drinker (or in the candy problem - the professor) cannot be the last.
"Which person around the table is most likely to be the last one to try the beer?
Is it a person near you or far from you?"
Maybe the latter question seeks to imply that but one would be justified in rejecting all other participants.
I do notice that Ady does frame the second comment here on the basis of (N-1) participants.
Posted by brianjn
on 2013-04-11 02:46:20