Beacon Lesson Plan Library

You May Already Be a Winner!

Michele Thompson
Bay District Schools


The students flip coins and play the You May Already Be a Winner! game to understand the probability concept.


The student represents all possible outcomes for a simple probability situation or event using models such as organized lists, charts, or tree diagrams.

The student calculates the probability of a particular event occurring from a set of all possible outcomes.


-Coin manipulatives
-Chalkboard or dry erase board
-Overhead projector
-Transparency film
-Chalk or dry erase markers
-Coin Toss Data Sheet (See Associated File)
-Think of the Possibilities sheet (See Associated File)
-2 Paper bags (boxes, cups, etc. will work also)
-4 x 6 Index cards
-Prize Cards (See Associated File)


1. Collect all materials needed.
2. Duplicate Coin Toss Data Sheet, one for each pair of students and one overhead transparency. (See Associated File)
3. Duplicate Think of the Possibilities sheet, one for each student and one overhead transparency. (See Associated File)
4. Duplicate the 6 Prize Cards, cut apart, glue or tape to index cards, and laminate. (See Associated File)
5. Label one paper bag “Round 1” and the other bag “Final Round.”
6. Get enough 4 x 6 cards for every student in your class.
7. Label half of these cards with “You May Already Be A Winner!” and half of the cards with “Sorry, you are not a winner this time.”
8. Tape these cards to the underside of students’ desks when they are not in the room.
9. Label more 4 x 6 cards for Round One—You’ll need 6 “Advance to Final Round” cards, and 3 “Draw Again” cards. Label enough extra cards with “Too Bad! You cannot advance to the Final Round.” to accommodate all students who will be in the drawing. (Exact number depends on class size.)


Note: Students should have some background knowledge of probability prior to this lesson. If this lesson is to be used as an introduction to probability, additional teaching and guidance will be needed for students to complete the tasks assigned on the Coin Toss Data and Think of the Possibilities sheets.

1. Flip a coin while saying, “Heads or tails?”

2. Allow for group responses and discuss actual outcome of the flip.

3. Lead students in a discussion of the two possible outcomes of a coin flip.

4. Explain the concept of probability and chance by flipping the coin a few more times and recording the results on the overhead transparency of Coin Toss Data Sheet. (See Associated File)

5. Divide students into pairs and distribute a coin manipulative and a Coin Toss Data Sheet to each pair.

6. Have students take turns flipping the coin 3 times each and recording their results on the Coin Toss Data Sheet. Students will answer the questions on the Coin Toss Data Sheet.

7. Have students share their results with the class.

8. Next, introduce the “You May Already Be A Winner!” game.

9. Tell students that they all have a card under their desks. Half of the cards will say, “You May Already Be A Winner!” and half will say, “Sorry, you cannot be a winner this time.”

10. Explain that out of the half that may be winners, [only six] will be actual winners. One of those six will be awarded the GRAND PRIZE.

11. Discuss possible outcomes, recording them on the board.

12. Have students look at their cards and have the students that have a “You May Be A Winner!” card come to the front of the room.

13. Show the various prize cards in the Round 1 Bag and discuss possible outcomes.

14. Distribute the “Think of the Possibilities” sheet to each student. (See Associated File) Have them list at least 5 possible outcomes of Round 1 on their chart.

15. Have the possible winners draw from the Round 1 Bag and have all students record the actual outcomes on their sheet.

16. Those who draw the six "Advance to the Final Round" cards, move on to the Final Round. Show the Prize Cards in the Final Round Bag. (See Associated File) The six finalists pick a card from the bag without looking at it.

17. Have all students list possible outcomes of the final round on their charts.

18. The six finalists show their cards at the same time and the Grand Prize Winner is revealed.

19. Students complete the “Think of the Possibilities” sheet.


Use completed charts and teacher observations to formatively assess student’s ability to:
-represent all possible outcomes for simple probability situations or events using charts and diagrams.
-calculate the probability of a particular event occurring from a set of all possible outcomes.

Since this may be the first time that students are introduced to probability, those who do not demonstrate understanding of the concept and have trouble creating the model for the outcomes will need corrective feedback and extra practice.


1. An extension activity could be one or both of the following Beacon Student Web Lessons:
-Lions and Tigers and Probability, Oh My!
-What Are My Chances?
2. Individual and pair activities can be modified to whole group if necessary.
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