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Best of John Grochowski
The Casino Answer Man11 April 2002
A shuffle through the Gaming mailbag, with a little shift in focus from our usual games of chance:
A. It's been a year and a half since I was in the "Millionaire" hot seat, and I'd thought all the curiosity had died months ago. Now, I've had a little flurry of interest, with half a dozen e-mails in the last couple of weeks. Hence, this "Millionaire"-themed mailbag.
Now then, Konik's look at "Millionaire" odds is correct as far as it goes, but there are factors he didn't weigh.
The basic calculation goes like this. If you feel you have a 50-50 chance of answering correctly and elect to go for it, half the time you'll drop to $32,000, but half the time you'll win $250,000 and still have the chance to look at the $500,000 and perhaps the $1 million questions. That makes your average win at least $141,000, which beats $125,000 for just walking away.
If you were in that situation over and over, from here to infinity, then without question the correct play would be to go on. But "Millionaire" doesn't work that way. It's a one-shot deal. Each player must decide if the risk of dropping to $32,000 outweighs the potential gains. Are there home improvements to be made, college funds to set up, dreams to be fulfilled that can be done with $125,000 but not with $32,000? Will the jump from $32,000 to $125,000 make a larger lifestyle difference than the jump from $125,000 to $250,000 would?
Without being more certain of the answer, I think it would have made it foolish for me to risk $93,000.
A. Rosner agonized for a full 20 minutes in the studio-—that was considerably cut down for airing—-but at no time did he mention La Paz or suggest that the correct answer wasn't there.
I don't think he has a leg to stand on in his continuing quest for compensation. The question asked was, "Which of these world capitals is the highest," not "Which is the world's highest capital?"
It's the same principle as if I were to ask you, "Which number is the highest, 1, 2, 3 or 4?" We all know there are higher numbers, but the correct answer to that question is "4."
A. Given the opportunity, I would have LOVED to plug my books before a big national audience. We were instructed that we could not bring up our own ventures, but could talk about them if Regis Philbin brought them up. He didn't, so I couldn't. I suspect ABC-TV owner Disney is squeamish about mentioning gambling.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski