Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

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Wizz kid mathematicians reveal secrets of Toilet Trouble

At the time of year we see news of University "boffins" working out how to cook a perfect turkey, we have unlocked the secrets of one of this year's must-have presents.

Toilet Trouble is the must-have family game this festive season. Determined not to be flushed away by their families, our Mathematics lecturers, Dr Andrew Baggaley and Dr Nick Parker got ahead of the game to analyse the seemingly random sequence of flushes and squirts.

On Christmas morning many families will wake up to a rather unexpected gift from Santa Claus: “Toilet Trouble”. This does not involve an emergency call to your local plumber or your GP, but is rather a family game devised by Santa’s most mischievous elves.

Each player nervously awaits their fate as they place their face over the toilet bowl and flush the handle. If they are lucky, they breathe a sigh of relief at staying dry and the suspense moves to the next player. If they are unlucky, a jet of toilet water comes to greet them.

Is this squirting truly random or is there some hidden order? Can the occurrence of the next tinkle be predicted? And can you beat the odds to stay dry, while soaking your nearest and dearest?

Our self-proclaimed wizz kid mathematicians combine scientific experimentation and mathematical analysis to give you the edge in this festive problem.

Read the Blog where we reveal the secrets of Toilet Trouble.

Toilet Trouble - Who gets wet? Who stays dry?

published on: 21 December 2017