Use this activity as an introduction or conclusion to your unit on probability, statistics, or fundamental counting principle.
There's so much excitement over the largest jackpot to date that it's a great opportunity to get your students talking about math! Through this fun activity students will have to use their tablets, cellphones or computers to research facts related to the Powerball. They will also have to determine the total number of possibilities for choosing the winning numbers through combinations.
When I did this with my dual enrollment algebra students (mostly juniors and seniors) I couldn't believe how many of them had never heard of a factorial, permutation, or combination. They thought I put the exclamation mark next to the numbers because I was being cute! I was in disbelief! So I updated it to include a little bit of background on the Fundamental Counting Principle and factorials.
It's a quick and easy way to generate a class discussion and have students excited about computations! You can give them the handouts to do in partners, or use it as a whole class discussion. Advanced students can even work on it independently and you can use it as a Think, Pair, Share activity. Check out the preview file.