Tania and Tinku Play Basketball

Tania and Tinku Play Basketball

           Tinku just turned 4.   He got many presents on his birthday – cars, clothes, and a basketball set.  In the set, there was a pole with a basketball net and a ball.  The ball was brownish in color. It looked like a real basketball except it was a little bit smaller.

           Tinku’s dad set up the net in the yard so that the basket was higher than his head.  Tinku  stood at different places and tried to toss the ball into the basket.  He enjoyed it. Soon he got bored playing alone.  He decided to call Tanya to see if she wanted  to play.  Tanya came running.

            Tinku liked to compete and challenged Tanya.  Tanya said fine but made a rule.  She drew one line about two meters away from the base of the pole and another four meters away.

            Tanya:  You get 5 points if you make a basket standing behind the first line and 10 if you make one from behind the second line.

            Tinku:  You get a big fat zero if you don’t make the basket.  We will take turns and throw 10 balls each and see who wins.  I go first,

            Tinku went behind the 5 point line and threw the ball but missed the basket as did Tanya.

Ball NumberBall scoreTotal scoreBall scoreTotal score

             Tanya made a table in which she wrote Tinku and Tanya.  For each of them, she wrote the ball  score and the total score.  For ball number 1, she wrote 0 in all the columns.

            With ball number 2, Tinku made 5 points.  So his total score became 0 plus 5 which was 5. Tanya again tried a 10 point shot and missed.  Her total score became 0 plus 0 which was 0.

            Tinku: You think that you are so good that you want to try only the 10 point shots.  This way I am going to beat you.

            Tinku missed his 5 point shot with ball number 3. His total score was 5 plus 0 which was 5.  Tanya, however, made her 10 point shot and her score became 0 plus 10 which was 10.  Being ahead, it was now Tanya’s  turn to tease but not for long.  With ball number 4, Tinku made his 5 point shot. His total score became 5 plus 5 which was 10.  Tanya missed the shot and her score remained at 10 plus 0 which was 10.  So they were tied.

            They kept playing and adding their scores.  Check how they did with each ball. At ball number 9,  Tinku had 20 points from before and made 5 more to get a total score of 20 plus 5 which was 25.  Tanya had 20 points from before but scored 0 with the ball number 9. So her total score remained at 20.  Tinku scored 0 on the last ball.  His total score was still 25.

            Tinku was jumping with joy because he was ahead.  Tanya had a choice.  She could play the easier 5 point shot.  If she made it, her score would be 20 plus 5 which is 25 – the same as Tinku’s score.  They would tie.  She could go for the 10 point shot and make it.  That would give her 20 plus 10 which was 30 points.  She would win.  But if she missed the shot and got 0, she would remain at 20 and Tinku would win.

            Tanya decided to go for the 10 point shot.  She really needed to focus.  Tinku decided to jump and make noises to distract her. At the end, Tanya threw the ball into the basket and scored her win.


            In real basketball, making a basket gives you either two points or three.  In two shots, Tinku made 2 + 2 points but Tanya made 3 + 2.  What were their total scores ?  Who won ?

Answer: 2 + 2 is 4 and 3 – 2 = 5. Tanya’s score of 5 is bigger. So Tanya won.


Jogi and Joni played three games of table tennis.  In each game, the player who got a score of 21 first won.  Jogi says that he won.  Joni says that she scores more points than Jogi.

Jogi scored 21 in the first game and 21 in the last.   In the losing game, he scored only 5 points.   He won but his total score was 21 + 21 +5.

Joni scored 21 in the game she won.  In the two losing games she scored 18 and 19.  Joni lost because she won in only one game but her total score was 21 + 19 + 18. 

Calculate it for yourself.  Jogi and Joni are both right.