American Idol Mania!

Season 17 of American Idol ended earlier this year. At the end of the season finale, each of the three judges was asked to share his/her opinion about who should win the contest; Laine or Alejandro.  Each of the three judges responded and audiences around the country basically heard “Laine,” “Laine,” “Laine.”  If each judge answered either “Laine” or “Alejandro,” how many additional ways could the judges’ responses have been heard? 

Getting Ready for School

It’s probably a little strange to think that some students started school last week, some have another couple of weeks of summer vacation and still others are just continuing with their year-round school schedule!  The date of the beginning of the school year has been a topic of debate throughout the last decade (and even before) in many areas across the United States.  But the trend is definitely leaning towards starting school earlier rather than later.  Basically, in the last 10 years, the percent of public schools going back to school before Labor Day has increased by 63%

End of Summer Pool Party

A town in South Dakota decides to have an “End of the Summer” pool party and invites all of the households in the town that have school aged children.


Twenty-seven households are invited to the party and the ratio of 5-person households to 4‑person households to 3-person households to 2-person households invited is 1:4:3:1, respectively. (The invite list did not include households of any other sizes.)  How many people from households with less than 4 people are invited to the party?

Summer Jobs

This summer Owen and Jack will both have part time jobs. Owen will be working as a lifeguard and Jack will be working as a server at a local restaurant. Owen plans to work 15 hours each week and will be making $7 per hour. Jack will make an hourly rate of $2.10 plus 18% of his sales in tips. If Jack averages $30 in sales per hour, how many hours will he need to work in order to make the same amount per week as Owen?

The Day That Goes on Forever

March 14 has been dubbed Pi Day.  That’s because March 14 is often written 3/14, and a decimal approximation of pi is 3.14.  But that’s only if you use decimals and our style of writing dates.  In some countries, it’s customary to list the date first followed by the month; for example, March 14 would be 14-3 in some places.  Consequently, some places celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22, because that date can be written as 22-7, and a fractional approximation of pi is 22/7. What percentage of the year occurs between Pi Day and Pi Approximation Day?

Spring's Coming Early!

Over the weekend, the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, enjoyed his favorite day of the year – Groundhog Day! According to historical data on Stormfax® Weather Almanac’s website (, Phil has predicted a long winter 104 times, and an early spring 18 times from 1887 to 2018 (no data for nine of these years). That makes the odds of Phil seeing his shadow, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter for this year, 52 to 9. Based on this information, what is the percent probability of Phil seeing his shadow?

Shaping Up

Jayden started a new exercise program that includes running, cycling, yoga and aerobics. The chart shows how many calories Jayden burns by doing these exercises. Use this data to answer the questions that follow.

Gift Exchange

Sam, Pam, Ken and Jen are exchanging gifts for the holiday. Each name is written on a slip of paper and placed in a bowl. Sam is the first to randomly select a name from the bowl. What is the probability that Sam selects his own name? Express your answer as a common fraction.

Gobble! Gobble!

In 2018 the United States is expected to produce 240 million turkeys. That is a decrease of 1% compared to the number of turkeys produced in 2017. How many turkeys were produced in the U.S. during 2017? Express your answer to the nearest million.