Chance for a Would-be Bride

girl-straws There was a tradition in old Russia. A would-be bride gathers six long pieces of straw and grasp them in her hand. She then randomly ties pairs of knots on the top and the bottom. Since there are six blades of grass sticking out above and below the hand, she will tie three knots on the top and three knots on the bottom. If she forms one big ring, she gets married soon.

Estimate the probability that the girl will get married soon.

The problem is mentioned in The New York Times NUMBERPLAY and it is credited to Sunil Singh.

Answer

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