Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lifeline Madness

The scene: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, $16,000 question. All three lifelines remaining.

The question: In the children's book "The Little Prince," where is the title character's home?

The contestant asks the audience. Good idea. They respond:

25%: A. Asteroid
7%: B. Spaceship
16%: C. Under a castle
52%: D. Forest

The contestant then takes the 50/50. Probably not my action of choice, but reasonable. While this situation is somewhat similar to the Elmo question, it's not nearly as clear-cut.

The 50/50 leaves A and B as the possible choices. Now the contestant phones her friend. This is terrible. Not only is the difference between 25% and 7% huge, but Asteroid is not what a typical person would guess here if they had no clue. Asteroid has to be the correct answer here well over 90% of the time.

What was the contestant hoping for when she took the 50/50? Only two outcomes were really better than the actual one: if B/D or C/D were the remaining choices. More likely, she would have called a friend no matter what, and the 50/50 was just a waste of a lifeline.

Luckily for the contestant, her friend believed it was Asteroid, and the third confirmation was enough for her to lock in A as her final answer, and get the $16,000.

1 comment:

Garrett W. said...

Signs the average person is an idiot: not reading one of the most famous children books of all times or ever looking at the cover.