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Uganda Network

Who are the lucky ones?
(the peanut game)

Who are the Lucky Ones? (Peanut Game)

Provide a bowl of peanuts in their shell or some sweets,enough for two per person. Provide a set of cards - see the following pages.

The rules of the game are:
1. There are enough peanuts or sweets in the bowl to allow two per player.
2. The number of treats each Scout receives will depend completely on the luck of the draw.
3. Scouts sit in a wide circle or oval and the cards are placed in a pile, in the centre of the circle face down.
4. To play, each Scout draws a chance card, stands, reads the card aloud to the others and follows the instructions given on it.
5. Unless the card says otherwise, the Scouts begin to eat their treats as soon as they receive them. Then they place the carding a discard pile and sit down.

Suggested time
Introduction: 5 minutes.

Game: 20 -25 minutes.

The Scouts now reassemble in Patrols and discuss the experience.If your Scouts are not used to this, a few simple rules will help.

  • Everyone should be given the opportunity to say something.
  • It is only possible to listen to one person , speaking at a time.
  • Listening is an important part of being in a group.
  • A Scout could be given responsibility and lead the discussion.
  • It may be helpful to give them some prompt questions.
  • Everyone's opinion should be respected.

Some prompt questions for the exercise might be:

  • Should anyone have got more?
  • Should anyone have got less?
  • Did the explanation on the card of the reason for the amount you received seem logical to you? Did it seem fair?
  • How do you feel about the attitudes of the lucky ones? And that Of the unlucky ones?
  • Would you like to play the game again:

a) If you knew you would draw the same card?
b) If the treat were your spending money for the coming month?
c) If the treat were your meals for the coming month?

  • How could we change the game to give more people a share of the treats?





This activity can be extended to help Scouts think about the way resources are distributed in the world economy. The following questions could be used as a guide or you could invent your own.

  • If you received no treats or only one, in which country might you live?
  • If you received lots of treats, where might you live?
  • In the real world, what share does our country get?
  • How do you think others feel about us?
  • How could we improve the chances for the unlucky ones in the real world without increasing the supply of resources?
  • How could we increase the resources available?
  • If we increased the supply but there was no change in the distribution system, how much would it improve the position of the unlucky ones?

The after game discussion is very important for the educational purpose of this activity.

80% of the players get 20% of the peanuts or sweets and 20%of the players get 80% of the treats. (see diagram above) This is approximately the way consumption of the world resources is divided in the world today. Patrol Leaders should be aware of these aspects in order to understand the aim of the game and its implementation.

Statement cards for the activity (pdf file (235k))


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Last modified 6 January 2004


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