The question Clarification on the intended meaning of a probability problem looks like a fairly common probability question until you get to the question itself:

Can the 'winning' number be reused or is it without replacement?

This is something that we can only guess on. We could provide an interpretation and solve the problem based on it, but that would circumvent the actual question which is only about the interpretation and not the result. We could simply answer that the problem has multiple interpretations. I feel the question should be closed because the only possible correct answer is a rather uninteresting "dunno, sorry", but it doesn't really match any of the flag reasons either.

Which way to go?


I would interpret the actual question as being something like:

Here is a quote from my textbook/homework. I cannot figure out whether it means X or Y. Is there some detail in the wording whose significance I'm not aware of, but which tells me unambiguously which it is? Or is there a convention that problems like this always means X unless Y is specified explicitly?

The correct answer might well be "no, the problem is just ambiguous", of course. If so, that doesn't mean the question should be closed -- "no, it's ambiguous" is a perfectly good answer.

I would tend to assume that the OP is prepared to solve either reading of the exercise by himself, and is just asking for advice on understanding what it asks for.


The question seems to be a reproduction of a question seen somewhere. It is thus to be assumed that the person originally formulating it (not the poster) at least thought it was clear what is meant. An answer could point out the clues present to decide which way to go. In some cases the situation might be fundamentally ambiguous and in such a case one could explain this. But, I feel in the present case it is possible to answer the question as asked, and I just did it.


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