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This Question appears in a local institution practice booklet with compilation of questions from other sources.:

B participates in a game that involves throwing an unbiased die, where a participant is given twice as many dollars as the number that turns up on the die if it is prime and thrice as many dollars as the number that turns up on the die, if it is composite. What will be the expected value per throw in the long run, if the participant has to pay $42, if one turns upon the die?

Kindly focus on the bold part in the above question.

My interpretation:

When a person rolls(turns) the die.

Actual meaning;

When 1 appears on the die

Now, how do I know that "one" was not a person but a number. I think that "up on" should have been used instead of "upon", this might have helped greatly. Do you think my suggestion is correct or the sentence is wrong in other way ot the fault lies in my understanding? Please help.


Kindly note I generally provide context but its not applicable here as this problem is from a practice booklet of a local institution which contains compilation of questions from other sources.

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  • Source of the quote please!!
    – James K
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:02
  • @JamesK I would have done but in this case its just some local institution practice booklet with compilation of questions from other sources. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:02
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    It looks like a mistranscription of "If one turns up on the die", but even so, It's not well written. A local institutions practice booklet would be expected to contain typos. By the way, this is why you should tell us the source!!
    – James K
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:14
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is based on a typographical error. This does not represent typical English use.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:15
  • @JamesK typo there is indeed as it now seems but I'm trying to find the meaning of the correct usage of the words therein though you are experienced so I won't question. Thank you for the edit. I too added the context in the end if you noticed? (Asking to also know if I'm required to add it in the end or start?) Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:18

1 Answer 1

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turns up on the die seems to be a common phrase when discussing stastistics. See for example these lecture notes.

And, as you have guessed, it always seems to mean when [number] is on the side that faces up.

We also notice two instances of the phrase in your text:

a participant is given twice as many dollars as the number that turns up on the die if it is prime and thrice as many dollars as the number that turns up on the die,

It is reasonable to conclude that you have found a typographical error. One refers to the digit, not to a person. upon should be up on just as in the previous two uses of the phrase.

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  • Thank you, +1. So it's also reasonable to conclude that me mistaking one for a person instead of number was correct too as instead of "up on", "upon" was used? Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:11
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    I conclude that "one" refers to the number, not a person, and that "upon" should be "up on"— Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:12
  • What would you have concluded had you read the statement as it is provided? (Case 1: You would have identified the error in language; Case 2: You would read "one" as referring to the person; Case 3: You would read "one" as referring to the numerical value; Case 4: None of the above) Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:15
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    I would have been confused. That is why I turned to Google before answering. I could not understand the phrase at all. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:16
  • Alright, thanks a lot! :-) Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:20

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