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About the PuzzlOR
Analytics Treasure Hunt 2012
The PuzzlOR
Decision Support Puzzles for Applied Mathematicians
October 2013 - Mini Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders is a popular children’s game where players compete to move along a game board the fastest.  It involves both hazard squares that can set you back a few spaces and some helpful squares that can move you forward a few spaces.  A mini version of the game is displayed in Figure 1. 

A player starts at the red “Start” square and finishes at the green “Finish” square.  A player advances along the board by spinning a spinner that results in moving forward one to three squares.

If a player ends his turn on a Ladder (depicted by the blue ladder icon) he immediately moves upwards along the ladder.  For example, if a player ends his turn on square 6, he would immediately move to square 11.

If a player ends his turn on a Chute (depicted by the orange slide) he immediately moves down the slide.  For example, if a player ends his turn on square 7, he would automatically move to square 2. 

A player wins the game when he lands on or passes the Finish square.

Question:  What is the average number of turns needed to finish the game?  (Please provide your answer with one decimal place.)

Send your answer to puzzlor@gmail.com by December 15th, 2013.  The winner, chosen randomly from correct answers, will receive a Magic 8 Ball.  Past questions can be found at puzzlor.com.

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