Recently the girls have been getting into Pokémon, both the TV show and the trading card games. I recently purchased two packs, one for each girl. I told them they could open them, if they cleaned up the stairs and hallway outside their room. I have never seen an area of the house cleaned so quickly or efficiently. Both the girls were delighted with the cards that they opened. I pointed out to them which ones were rares, and how their holofoils were special. Lois mentioned that what she really wanted was some special VMax Holofoil card that every kid at school wanted. I decided this was the time to teach her about gambling and statistics.


In general, any product that is blind boxed or sold in packs, is a clever disguise of legalized gambling for children. As a player of Magic: The Gathering, itself I’ve long realized that it’s cheaper to just buy the singles that I want off ebay, instead of hoping I get valuable cards in random packs. I went onto and showed Lois how much the cards she had just opened were worth. (Hint: They were pennies on the dollar). I also showed her how much the VMax Eevee, that she wanted cost. (anywhere from $2-$10). I asked her if she thought that the card she would have wanted would come if we bought just two more packs. She quickly realized buying random cards was stupid, and that she would be much better off buying the actual cards she wanted online. I also used this as an opportunity to tell her why learning Math is so important, and why she has to ace her multiplication tests, so she can do these kind of calculations on the fly.


Math seems to be a lot more fun, when it relates to Pokémon.