Solving an expected value problem without using geometric series

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*Math Horizons* is a vibrant and accessible forum for practitioners, students, educators, and enthusiasts of mathematics, dedicated to exploring the folklore, characters, and current happenings in mathematical culture.

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The contents of current and past issues of *Math Horizons *(1993 to present) can be browsed on JSTOR (login *not* required).

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*Aftermath* essays appear in every issue of *Math Horizons*, and are also collected on the blog of the same name. The essays are intended to be editorials and do not necessarily reflect the views of the MAA.

Sample articles from *Math Horizons* are available here.

Such supplemental information as solutions for contests, contest winners, editorials, and other reader responses to *Math Horizons* articles is available here.

The Trevor Evans Awards, established by the Board of Governors in 1992 and first awarded in 1996, are presented by the Mathematical Association of America to authors of exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in *Math Horizons*. The awards are named for Trevor Evans, a distinguished mathematician, teacher and writer at Emory University. The award is $250. See past winners.

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David Richeson

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Dickinson College

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Carlisle, PA 17013-2896

For further information visit our Instructions for Authors page.

The Playground features problems for students at the undergraduate and (challenging) high school levels. All problems and/or solutions may be submitted to our Problem Section editor, Gary Gordon, at the following address:

Gary Gordon

Mathematics Department

Lafayette College

Easton, PA 18042

Electronic submissions (preferred) may be sent to gordong@lafayette.edu. Please include your name, email address, school affiliation, and indicate if you are a student. If a problem has multiple parts, solutions for individual parts will be accepted. Unless otherwise stated, problems have been solved by their proposers.

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David Richeson (mathhorizons@maa.org)