7.12.2007

Morning Mind Twister


OK, so y'all know the gameshow Let's Make a Deal, where there are 3 doors, one of which has a prize, like a car or something, behind it, and the other two have non-prizes (let's call them 'goats')? The contestant chooses a door, and then one of the un-chosen doors is revealed, and there's a goat behind it. What's the probability of the un-chosen, un-opened door having a car behind it? (Is it advantageous to switch your selection to win a car?)

This problem has been quantified and studied, and has been dubbed the Monty Hall Problem. The Wikipedia article has a full answer to the above question- which is an interesting read, because it is very non-intuitive. I'd think that the un-chosen, un-opened door would have a 50% chance of having a car behind it- you've still got 2 doors, one car, & one goat, right? Alas, no. Read the above link to get the real answer.

From the mental_floss blog

Interesting note: I googled 'goat car' to get an image for this post, and most of the top results were discussing this puzzle. Who knew? But, then, who else discusses goats & cars in the same breath?

1 comment:

Matt said...

That actually made my stomach hurt the first time I read through it. I was briefly afraid that I would not be able to be convinced of the truth, and my head would implode. But after reading it a second time, it all made sense, and my head is still intact. Phew.

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