Teaching Statistics

How much is it going to cost me to complete a collection of football trading cards?

Journal Article


Trading cards for various sports and a range of other subjects such as architecture, animals, hobbies, and war have been in existence since the late nineteenth century and still enjoy great popularity. Two of the most prominent examples are baseball cards in the U.S. and football cards in Europe. Three strategies for collecting European football trading cards were investigated for two different groups: either a single collector or two collectors joining forces. An activity is proposed in which students use a simulation to compute the factor by which the number of trading cards bought exceeds the number to be collected. This enables them to estimate the expected costs of completing a collection of trading cards. The overall expected costs vary considerably, depending on the strategy used. Savings for a team of two collectors as opposed to a single collector are indicated.

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