A Short History of Probability From Calculus, Volume II by Tom M. Apostol (2 nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1969 ): "A gambler's dispute in 1654 led to the creation of a mathematical theory of probability by two famous French mathematicians, Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat. Antoine Gombaud, Chevalier de Méré, a French nobleman with an interest in gaming and gambling questions, called Pascal's attention to an apparent contradiction concerning a popular dice game. The game consisted in throwing a pair of dice 24 times; the problem was to decide whether or not to bet even money on the occurrence of at least one "double six" during the 24 throws. A seemingly well-established gambling rule led de Méré to believe that betting on a double six in 24 throws would be profitable, but his own calculations indicated just the opposite. This problem and others posed by de Méré led to an exchange of letters between Pascal and Fermat in which the fundamental principles of probability theory were formulated for the first time. Although a
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This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course STA 2014 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at University of Florida.