The World is Not Created by Genius

Lao Hua has an interesting blog about a game he facilitates. The game is like this:

  • Gather a group of people (the more, the better)
  • Ask each person to write down a number between 0 – 100
  • Calculate the average of all these numbers
  • The one who guessed closest to 2/3 of the average number wins

Which number would you guess if you were in the game?

My Guess

I played the game for the first time yesterday. My guess was 8.2

I thought if everyone randomly chooses a number, the average should be 50, and 2/3 of it is 33.3.

I assume everyone should know this. If everyone knows it, people will try 33.3333, and the average is 33.33. 2/3 of it is 22.22

If everyone is as smart and think of this, people will irratate, and the number is becoming smaller and smaller, like this.

50

33.33333333

22.22222222

14.81481481

9.87654321

6.58436214

4.38957476

2.926383173

1.950922116

My brain started to hurt, and finally, I thought, at least it should be within 1-10, so I randomly chose 8.2

The Final Result

This is the guess from 12 people:

30

98.16

32

50

12

33.3

22

8

8.2

18

28.68

37

The average is 31.445, and 2/3 of it is 20.96333333. Finally, the person who guessed 22 won the game. I lose miserably.

I agree that world is not created by genius now.

1234

17 Comments

  1. let me get my abacus out to quickly calculate the correct average.

  2. Reminds me of the ‘lowest unique bid’ type of auction – where people pay some low fee for placing a bid, with the lowest unique bidder being the winner.

    People trying to second guess people.

  3. Post this year’s FIRST comment on Wang Jian Shuo’s website.

    Have been such a long period.

  4. The result may vary if you told them like this: Hey, if you write down the most accurate guess, you would win a car/ thousands dollars something… ‘coz in that way, people will take it more seriously, and numbers as 98.16 will hardly be chosen…

  5. Interesting game! :)

  6. Realy Interesting Game.

  7. Interesting game. I am not sure if this one of the classical games from game theory.

    It seems people rarely get further than two rounds of iterations. I guess the smarter a group is, the smaller the number one should guess.

    What if everyone guesses zero, who will be the winner?

  8. haha, interesting~~

  9. The result is volatile as the plays change,but it still worths trying~~~

  10. About English Writing

    –I thought if everyone randomly chooses a number, the average should be 50, and 2/3 of it is 33.3. — I thought if everyone randomly chose a number, the average would be 50, …[to keep the consistency of tense in a the sentence]

    –I assume ….– I assumed…. [to keep the consistency of tense in the context]

    The similar mistakes can be found in your post.

  11. so funny game.if sb can guess the accurate number,he must be a man who can peep all the numbers written on the paper.but it’s impossible. hahaha…………

  12. Interesting game, it really makes one think about his/her chances :)

    btw, drunkpriest, I bet you could do something better with your life instead of telling people how to write proper English (and no, my English is not that good either). Give the man a break, his English is good enough for me, I wish more people wrote like he did :)

  13. very interesting guess.

  14. I guess 22,and I’m right!?What a coincidence!

  15. Hi Jielun,

    Did I offend you? I’m sorry if I did.

    Drunkpriest

  16. What an interesting game! Well, as to me, the result depends on the biggest number. Maybe the one who guessed 98.16 hadn’t known how to play the game.

  17. Interesting, indeed. People reveal more things about themselves in this little game than, say, when they are drunk. Here is my take on several game participants.

    98.16 – What can I say? He is either so full of himself or just completely stupidÂ… or both.

    50 – He is one of those students who never get that “100” because he writes down his answer before reading the question.

    33.3 – Self-centered bastard!

    8 – Cousin of “18”.

    18 – He thinks that he is always the favored child by some unexplainable external force. Really he is just a person who willingly hand his fate over to someone else.

    8.2 – He is calculated but believes the randomness of life. Well, if I’m right on this one, it is just because I’ve been reading your blog.

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