The Answer To This Jelly Bean Riddle Seems Simple, But Everybody Picks The Wrong One

By Editorial Staff in Puzzle On 22nd December 2016

#1 Good luck to you!

Let's get to the riddle!

#2 Imagine you're trapped in a forest and will only be let go if you eat the "safe" jelly bean from the tree stump.

One is okay to eat, and the other two are poisonous.

Follow On Google News

#3 Got it? Seems simple enough, right?

#4 The person controlling the game asks you to randomly pick a jelly bean. Let's say you pick the green one.

He says that he'll take away one of the non-green jelly beans and he guarantees that the one he removes is poisonous.

HE REMOVES THE BLUE ONE.

Follow On Twitter

#5 You're now supposed to eat a jelly bean, and you can choose between the red and the green. WHICH DO YOU PICK?

#6 You've got only ten seconds!

#7 Do you have an answer?

#8 Well, you should have picked the red one.

Let's explain why

#9 Did you pick the green jelly bean?

Most people would figure they've got a 50/50 chance since they know that one jelly bean is poisonous and the other is not, but it's a little trickier than that.

#10 In fact, you should choose the red one because it's HALF as likely to be poisoned as the green one.

#11 The red one is the better choice when the blue one is removed.

#12 Here’s why:

When the green was selected, there was a 1 in 3 chance that it was safe. And a 2 in 3 chance it was poisonous.

When the blue one was removed, the green was still a 1 in 3 chance of being safe, but we learn more about the red one. Because the blue one was taken away, there's actually a 2 in 3 chance that the red one is safe.

So it's twice as likely to be safe and the better pick!

#13 It's a tricky one, isn't it?

Statistics don't lie, but they can be pretty confusing sometimes!