CBS's Power of Ten

1. Aug 21, 2007

end3r7

So what do you guys think of the new game show?

The concept is very simple. Basically a sample of America is polled with a yes or no question and contestants have to guess the probability of a positive answer. So the players are essentially guessing the probability of what could be thought of a binomial distribution, but is it really? I'll come back to that point a little later. First the rules of the game.

Before you actually play the game, there is a best 3 out of 5 play-off between two contestants where they guess the percentage in 5 questions. The closest gets a point. First to three wins.

Then you play the real game. Here you are given a total of 4 questions and a starting amount of 1,000 dollars. Guess a question correctly, you money total is multiplied by 10, and you can keep going or take your current earnings. Guess wrong and your total is divided by 10 and you gotta take it. Furthermore, you don't actually guess a single number all the time. For the first question, you can guess a 30 percentage range, for the second 20, for the third 10, and for the last then you can only guess a single number. So theoretically you could win 10 million, but that's very, very unlikely.

Before you put in your guess you can also see what the audience thinks. Obviously the audience is biased towards middle income New Yorkers. Also, the audience size is small, and since I'm assuming that CBS is smart and putting the questions with greater spread in the end, audience help becomes essentially meaningless as their histogram can almost look like an uniform distribution (well, exaggeration, but yea).

But my question is: how are they getting their population mean to begin with? They do by phone, so can we expect that rural and lower income America to have a significantly lessened input? Should we play the game with a bias toward middle income America? And also, do they call people from different regions or are they somewhat clustered, so their answers are not really independent?
Also, when a watched today, the two contestants who were competing to play were from the South (Texas and New Orleans). The game will resume on Wednesday, but I'm wondering if they would put up a question for which the mean was primarily determined from calls to Northern states.

These are small factors, but hell, this game seems somewhat easy to rig, especially since contestants often submit profiles with their background history, religion, etc.

So, what do you guys think of the game? And how would you play?

Oh, and I like the show. Drew Carey is awesome.