The prizes, the lights, the sounds, and a quick-talking barker make it hard to resist playing carnival games, but is every game a fool’s bet? In his latest video, Mark Rober, an ex-NASA JPL engineer, breaks down the science of what makes some of these games so challenging, and others near impossible to win.

For instance, the regulation height of a basketball hoop is 10 feet off the ground, but Mark found the hoops at his local carnival were actually 11 feet tall, which would throw off even an NBA star. As for games that are almost impossible to win? Don’t bother trying to shoot the star off a paper target with a BB gun. You’ll have physics and the laws of the universe working against you ever winning that stuffed bear you’re eyeing.

[YouTube]