TinMan
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
• Posts: 311
July 5th, 2019 at 7:47:50 PM permalink
I searched, but didn't see any other threads on this topic.

I recently noticed a new game show on Netflix--Awake. The basic premise is contestants are kept awake for 24 hours and then given challenges that rely on fine motor skills and/or concentration. That part of it is straightforward enough and uninteresting. The part that interests me is that there are two grand prizes that rely on the following task:

For the 24 hours that the contests are kept awake, they are in a room with a massive vat of quarters. Each contestant has a table, chair, burlap sack, hand shovel and a prop that looks like a wheelbarrow. They seem to have water/beverages too, but importantly they have nothing (obvious) to keep count.

For the 24 hours that they are awake, the contests are asked to count quarters and place them in the wheelbarrow. At the end of 24 hours, they tell a producer (in secret so the other contestants can't hear) how much money in quarters they believe that they have in their wheelbarrow.

They may place as many or as few quarters as they wish in the wheelbarrow. However, if they place the fewest number of coins in the wheelbarrow of all of the contestants, they are eliminated.

During the competition, contestants are eliminated until 1 remains. That person is given a choice of: (1) keep all of the money in your wheelbarrow (usually somewhere around (20-35k) OR risk it all for the sum of all of the money in all of the wheelbarrows (usually around 190k). In order to win the larger amount, their count of the money in their own wheelbarrow has to be within (+/-) \$500 of the true amount. If the contestant goes for it and is within \$500, they are told that they are within \$500 but not otherwise told how close they came.

If the contest accepts the gamble and wins, they are given an additional offer. Same as the prior one, but now their total must be within \$25. If they are within that range, they win \$1MM. If they are not, they lose everything.

So my question is: what strategy would you use for this game? You can't just count 4 quarters into your wheelbarrow and guess \$1 because then you're almost certainly going to be eliminated under the "contestant with the fewest coins" condition.
If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude.
beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
• Posts: 14234
July 5th, 2019 at 11:21:14 PM permalink
FWIW, there were a few posts on this a few days ago, might have been in misc discussion. I'm one who made a post, but it probably deserves its own thread.

I would get a sense memory of what 40 quarters stacked long way in my hand felt like, maybe even ahead of time, then toss them into a line with the other hand, and into the bin. Probably count by 1s, then multiply by 10 at the end for a dollar amount. I could be wrong about this being the best way, both quickest and most accurate, but I think it would work. Haven't seen the show.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
miplet
Joined: Dec 1, 2009
• Posts: 2036
July 5th, 2019 at 11:54:01 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
• Posts: 14234
July 6th, 2019 at 7:46:45 AM permalink
Quote: miplet