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TV + Spreadsheet = Nerd - Queue
March 27th, 2006
08:56 pm

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TV + Spreadsheet = Nerd
I just made a spreadsheet to automatically calculate the average for the show Deal or No Deal. Of course the offer from the banker is always less than the average, but I can't seem to figure out how to calculate the offer. My guess is that the offers are calculated to make the best TV, like making the offers less attractive while they want the player to keep going. At some point, I might try to track the averages and the offers.

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From:mattlistener
Date:March 28th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
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Reminds me -- have you heard the news from the mathematics of probability that on the old Let's Make a Deal show, if contestants are always shown that there's goats behind a door they didn't choose and are offered a chance to change their choice to the remaining door of the three, a contestant improves their chances of winning from 1/3 to 2/3 by changing their choice to the other door?

(Brief proof: your first choice has a 2/3 chance of being the wrong door. For those 2 times in 3, you win 100% of the time by choosing the other door after goats are shown. Assumes goats are revealed after first choice every time.)
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From:queue
Date:March 28th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
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I remember when that came up with Marilyn vos Savant (Parade Magazine) and the big controversy around it. A quick Google shows that that came up in 1990.
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From:mattlistener
Date:March 28th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC)
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Shows how far behind I am on the cultural. :-) I only know it from the realm of counter-intuitive features of probability math...
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From:surrealestate
Date:March 28th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)
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Weird. I very randomly happened across this show the other night and everyone seems to be talking about. I came in somewhere in the middle, figured out the basic gist, and was shortly yelling at the screen for the woman to take the $175,000 deal!!!!! (She ended up with $5K.)

So how would you play it?
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From:queue
Date:March 28th, 2006 06:15 am (UTC)
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Haven't figured it out yet. I'd probably pick some dollar amount and take the deal above that amount, maybe something like $75,000.
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From:surrealestate
Date:March 28th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
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She turned down $175,000!! Even with that being my first time (and not knowing that a number that high isn't common), it seemed painfully obvious that she should TAKE THE DEAL!

Clearly I get too emotional about these things.

On the other hand, you might be amused at my friend Patrick's description of probability. (Maybe I will get around to responding at some point. Feel free to do so if you are so inclined.)
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