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all right, another one


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The poster formerly known as Cat asked for another little math problem, and this is one of my fave's:

You remember Let's Make a Deal with Monte Hall? My favorite part came at the end. Somebody would give up all of their prizes for a shot at the big one. And they would have three doors. Behind one door was the grand prize (CAR) and behind the other two doors were some silly dumb prizes (GOATS).

So Monte would ask the contestant to pick door number one, two, or three. After the contestant picked a door, Monte would open one door and expose a goat. Then Monte gives the contestant the opportunity to keep his original door or switch to the third door.

What should the contestant do? Does it matter? And did anyone ever really eat a year's worth of Rice A Roni?

I will be back later in the day with the answer ....


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Anyone who has even a bite of Rice a Roni in any given year has actually eaten their yearly supply of Rice a Roni. Those who have eaten no rice a roni have also eaten their yearly supply, I think you could say.

As to the Doors. It made no differece, since what was behind each door could quickly be moved behind a diiferent door when need be. Is that cynical?-- only if contestents of less desirable "qualities" --whatever the prodcuers deemed less desirable--always got the goats or rice a roni!

That's my take.


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Two doors left, one has the grand prize, so of course you should pick another door, but have your odds gone from 1 in 3 to 1 in 2? I think so. But something tells me this "problem" cant be that simple or else why would my dear friend Curtis give it to us? There are two cynical answers to my question:

1. He has little faith in most of our mathematical prowess.

2. He knows there are those like me who will overthink its simplicity.


I think I have given a proper answer to the Rice a Roni sidetrack question.

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What color are the goats? What make is the car?

Angora goats? Cheap car? The goats COULD be the greater prize, after all...

I have no need for anything behind any of the doors, maybe cash in hand would be a better choice...hmmm...

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they give out cash and prizes now, Snowflake. You can stay with me when you come to California for your shot at the Price is Right. (And I'll take you down the road to visit both the Llama Ranch and the Ostrich and Emu Ranch if you want to see nice Angora and Feathers.)

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Actually, Frank, I think your odds would be HIGHER to win, as winning the "car" was one in three and with two doors left, your odds are now one in two....

But hey, I'd keep my WONDERFUL parting gifts of Rice-a-Roni and assorte sundries from Service Merchants (or whatever that catalog was...)

Isn't Let's Make a Deal the one that everyone dressed funny to get on and were chosen by what they had in their purse or the color of their socks or something? No way, I'm with Fay and off to see Bob Barker and his lovelies!! 8)

(...oh yeah, and the "perks" of all those men in uniform! Breaks my heart, the visual....hehehehe)

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Think of it this way - if you started by picking the right door, you will always lose if you switch.

And if you started by picking one of the wrong doors, you will always win if you switch. Because they will always show you the other door with a goat behind it, and the remaining door will always have the car.

So switching works if you started with a wrong door, and loses if you started with the right door.

But you started with the right door 1/3 of the time and the wrong door 2/3 of the time. So therefore, you will win by switching 2/3 of the time and lose by switching 1/3 of the time.


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