Poll

6 votes (25%)
9 votes (37.5%)
9 votes (37.5%)

24 members have voted

pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 21st, 2010 at 5:45:32 PM permalink
The game is certainly nervewracking. The conceit is that you begin with $1M in 50 bundles. You get a question and several possible answer (initially 4 answers). You must play 7 rounds, although the number of answers gets smaller, but the questions get harder.

If you perfectly hedge the first question, you must put 12, 12, 13, and 13 bundles of cash on the four answers. So when the trap doors are opened, you are left with either 12 or 13 bundles of cash. But it is virtually impossible to get through 7 questions like that.

In the initial show, the young couple did not hedge at all for the first three questions, and were rewarded by only losing $120K (6 bundles) after 3 questions.

The 4th question was Which of the following three things was marketed first? The answer is the poll question.

The couple put $800K on one answer, and $80K and ZERO on the other two answers. Naturally they lost the $800K and the remainder $80K was completely lost by the 7th question giving them no winnings. It was heartbreaking since they were a very cute young couple.

If you've seen the TV show don't reveal the correct answer to the poll

As a secondary question, would you start seriously hedging on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th question? Given how difficult the last two questions are, I am assuming most sane people would begin a reasonable hedge on the last two questions, and no serious hedging can be done on the first two or you won't have enough money to make it through the game.

Final question, do you predict anyone will get through this game with $300K ?
Croupier
Croupier
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December 21st, 2010 at 5:56:40 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin



If you perfectly hedge the first question, you must put 12, 12, 13, and 13 bundles of cash on the four answers. So when the trap doors are opened, you are left with either 12 or 13 bundles of cash. But it is virtually impossible to get through 7 questions like that.



In the UK version, The Million Pound Drop, you always have to leave one trap with no money on, so at least if you know its one of 2 you can split the money 50/50 until the last question, where you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right, which is the strategy myself and the wife use while playing along at home with the game thanks to Channel 4s use of the internet.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 21st, 2010 at 6:22:48 PM permalink
Quote: Croupier

In the UK version, The Million Pound Drop, you always have to leave one trap with no money on, so at least if you know its one of 2 you can split the money 50/50 until the last question, where you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right, which is the strategy myself and the wife use while playing along at home with the game thanks to Channel 4s use of the internet.



It sounds like the only possibility is either winning 20K GBP or Zero.

The other element is it is a real couple (man and woman) playing.
TheNightfly
TheNightfly
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December 21st, 2010 at 6:32:42 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin


If you perfectly hedge the first question, you must put 12, 12, 13, and 13 bundles of cash on the four answers. So when the trap doors are opened, you are left with either 12 or 13 bundles of cash. But it is virtually impossible to get through 7 questions like that.

In the initial show, the young couple did not hedge at all for the first three questions, and were rewarded by only losing $120K (6 bundles) after 3 questions.

If you've seen the TV show don't reveal the correct answer to the poll

Final question, do you predict anyone will get through this game with $300K ?


Considering the hype this show was given, I was very underwhelmed with how the first episode played out.

First about hedging, you cannot hedge by placing bundles of cash on ALL doors - at least one door must be left empty.

I have issues with the fact that many of the questions are poll questions. For example, the question about "How many pairs of shoes does the average American woman own?" is just a stupid question. What or who is the "Average" American woman? Do they mean American women of average weight? Height? Income? Who audited the poll and how long ago was poll done? This kind of question has no real quantifiable answer and when $1,000,000 is at stake I think that there had better be some way to quantitatively prove the answer that is given.

I think that someone will win in excess of $500,000 sooner or later but the main issue I have with this format is that it is very anticlimactic toward the end. In Millionaire and Deal or no Deal, the player is building their prize as the game goes along and it grabs the audience (me anyway) as the prize grows bigger. In this show, after 6 questions they were playing for $20,000... were we really all that interested at that point? I was honestly hoping they'd lose the whole lot at the end, and they didn't disappoint.
Happiness is underrated
Wizard
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Wizard
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December 21st, 2010 at 6:51:08 PM permalink
For those of you on the west coast, this is on tonight at 9:00 PM on Fox. I plan to watch and offer my comments afterward.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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December 21st, 2010 at 7:46:39 PM permalink
I can tell you that the maker of one of these products has taken issue with the show's answer to this question...
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
DJTeddyBear
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December 21st, 2010 at 8:17:35 PM permalink
Quote: TheNightfly

Considering the hype this show was given, I was very underwhelmed with how the first episode played out.

Hype? I never heard of it.

And, I do not understand the concept, at least as it's been presented here.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Wizard
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Wizard
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December 21st, 2010 at 8:25:47 PM permalink
I've already done a lot of thinking about this. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think think the proper strategy is to use the Kelly Criterion. In other words, at each step you should maximize the expected log of your wealth. Let's look at an example. Suppose your wealth going into the show is $100,000, and the prize pool is $1,000,000. You have four choices, with probabilities of being correct as follows:

A 10%
B 20%
C 30%
D 40%

Let's say there are 100 bundles of money, and you can't split a bundle up. I claim the optimal division is as follows:

A: 4
B: 18
C: 32
D: 46

How did I get that? Trial and error basically. Excel's "goal seek" feature is a invaluable for such problems. Anyone care to disagree with that distribution?

Of course, on the real show you're not going to be able to run those calculations. A good question for the forum is what would be a good basic strategy for the division of the money, assuming you're under time pressure, and don't have a calculator. Another question for the forum is to find an analytical solution to the above example.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Wizard
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Wizard
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December 21st, 2010 at 11:10:16 PM permalink
I watched the show. It was pretty much as described, except there is a rule that you must eliminate at least one option by not putting any money on it. So my advice still stands, except to eliminate the worst answer, and then proceed with maximizing the expected log of the win.

By the way, I hope those who watched it could sympathize with my agony over the first question. It was, "Statistically, which is the most frequent total rolled in craps?" The choices were 4, 7, 10, and 12. The contestants put about 20% of their money on 7, and 80% on 10. I was almost pulling my hair out. However, then the host mentioned the option to change their minds, which they did invoke, and moved most of it to 7. They mentioned something about the number 7 being special in craps. I would have preferred to see a mathematical reason behind the switch, but alas, the average American's probability skills are abysmal.

For what it is worth, I would have gotten the Bayer Aspirin question right. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I thought the answer to the seafood question was salmon, but would have hedged by putting some of the money on shrimp.

The show is on at 9:00 tomorrow and Thursday as well.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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December 22nd, 2010 at 4:22:05 AM permalink
OK. But which came first?

Macintosh, Walkman or Post-Its?
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁

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