American roulette. The game of American roulette involves spinning a wheel with 38 slots: 18 red, 18 black, and 2 green. A ball is spun onto the wheel and will eventually land in a slot, where each slot has an equal chance of capturing the ball. Gamblers can place bets on red or black. If the ball lands on their color, they double their money. If it lands on another color, they lose their money. Suppose you bet $1 on red. What’s the expected value and standard deviation of your winnings?
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Portfolio return. A portfolio’s value increases by 18% during a financial boom and by 9% during normal times. It decreases by 12% during a recession. What is the expected return on this portfolio if each scenario is equally likely?