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Friday, April 26, 2013

TPiRecap: 26 April 2013 (Big Money Week #5)


Before we go into today's festivities to wrap up Big Money Week, I have a soapbox with me, so if you'll indulge me for a few moments while I get on it...

It seldom ceases to amaze me just how far the Internet will go in finding the dark lining to every silver cloud in the sky. Even when we have legitimate history, such as Ani being our very first winner on Pay the Rent, we have to have some people try to diminish her victory by referring to it as a "forced win," because there were more possible winning combinations out of that setup (someone on BuzzerBlog worked it out to fifteen) than on any other playing. It's even to the point where at least one wag to my knowledge has dared to drop the dreaded "R-word" (hint: the one that ends in "-igged") in relation to Ani's win on Wednesday.

Here's the deal on why it's silly to think like that, unless you simply share the negativity fetish that seems so rampant on the Internet.

Mathematically, there are 720 possible ways you can arrange the six grocery products in the six "rooms" of the Pay the Rent "house." (For math geeks, this is expressed as "factorial six" -- 6! -- representing 1×2×3×4×5×6=720.) Out of all of those arrangements, fifteen of them would have won the lot.

Actually, for the sake of argument, let's call that sixty winning combinations, because the two GPs on each of the first and second floors can have their order swapped without affecting anything. That works out to four functionally-identical arrangements for each winner:

1st Way
2nd Way
3rd Way
4th Way
A
B
B
A
A
B
B
A
C
D
C
D
D
C
D
C

With fifteen combinations that would've won, that gives us sixty arrangements out of the 720 possible which would've yielded a hundred grand (15×4=60). That still leaves us with 660 ways Ani could have screwed it up. That works out to odds of 109-1 against finding one of those lucky combinations.  

Let's compare those odds to Golden Road,  the only game that has yet to be won outright during Drew Carey's tenure as host.  Golden Road features technical odds of 23-1 against going all the way and winning everything, assuming you play it strictly as a game of chance and ignore price logic.  Allowing for the three-digit prize being a virtual giveaway, the odds improve to 11-1 against.  For that matter, the endgame of the '80s Dream House gave you, at worst, odds of 63-1 against finding the correct combination for the Golden Doors -- and that game was purely one of chance! 

It's even much more generous than Pay the Rent itself usually is. In the past where there was one and only one winning combination -- or four, going by the above chart -- those same odds were 179-1 against.  For that matter, let's be charitable and allow for the notion the batteries were obviously the ones to put into the attic on Ani's playing, since nothing else on the table looked even close to that expensive (as indeed nothing was). We can thus rule out every possible combination that put something other than the batteries in that safe, which gives us 5! (1×2×3×4×5=120) potential arrangements of the remaining five GPs. Sixty winning combinations out of 120 gives us... you guessed it... a straight-up 50:50 shot at winning. A coin flip, in other words.

I'll grant, this is by far more contestant-friendly that Pay the Rent has been in the past. I will even go as far as to suggest the producers did realize this game was simply much too hard and wanted to increase the chances of a stage player finding a correct solution. But a 50:50 chance of winning is by no means a "forced" win, unless you can look me in the eye and tell me you can accurately predict "heads" or "tails" for one hundred and twenty consecutive flips of a coin. Maybe you can, but it'd be pure luck if you could (and if you could, maybe you should play Mega Millions). And even if you ignore all of this mathematical sophistry and nonsense, you have to remember one simple fact: Ani could have walked away with $10,000, just like both of the other contestants who got to that point and later realized they'd left the big money on the table. That's certainly not something Mike Richards or anyone else on the staff could have affected... not if they wanted to stay out of prison, anyway. Ignoring all other factors, the bailout rule alone means you cannot call this a forced win.

No matter what that little Alex Jones in your ear is telling you, there's no consipracy here. Ani earned her money. The producers did nothing to help her along on her path to victory, unless it was to make sure the path was a bit more manicured than in the past. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just being a hipster about it.

Right. Rant over, let's get on with the last day of our stunt and hope Madame Plinko is in a good mood. (Of course, if it turns out she is, we'll probably get people posting about how they're positive they saw strings tied between pegs to ensure the chips fall where they're supposed to...)

Episode # 6325K (Big Money Week #5)
Airdate 26 April 2013
VTR 27 March 2013
First Four Melissa, Malek, Samantha, Bill (Random)
Today's Models Manuela Abreález, Amber Lancaster, Rob Wilson

1. DeLonghi kMix espresso machine w/stoneware cups (RW, MA)
Melissa
450
Samantha
325
Malek
399
Bill
500

SUICIDE

$510

Money Game:
2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS (AT, 2.4L, carpeted mats, cargo net, paint/fabric prot; AL)

$
$
23
41
24
$
$
99
88
77
$
$
33
22
11
$
$
F
4
B


Ahh... I see what they did here. This emulates an old Money Game setup from the very earliest days, which featured all the double-digit pairs from 11 to 99.

$22,433 would be my guess.

23: $
$
23
$
41
24
$
$
99
88
77
$
$
33
22
11
$
$
F
4
B


41: $
$
23
$
$
24
$
41
99
88
77
$
$
33
22
11
$
$
F
4
B


Suddenly I don't feel confident about much.

41: $
$
23
$
$
$
$
41
99
88
77
$
24
33
22
11
$
$
F
4
B


22: FINALLY
$
23
$
$
$
$
41
99
88
77
$
24
33
F
11
$
$
22
4
B


Well, that was like pulling teeth. But there's still one more pick...

33: $
$
23
$
$
$
$
41
99
88
77
$
24
$
F
11
$
33
22
4
B

Win $121
($22,411; Front-and-Back, El Hijo del Cheapo)

...and that bombed. Not off to an auspicious beginning.

2. ESP electric guitar (MA)
Melissa
800
Samantha
801
Malek
805
Joyce
2300


$1213


1 Right Price: $3140
  1. Trip to Seattle, WA (5n, Sheraton Seattle, dinner & a show; AL)
  2. Trip to Austin, TX (5n, Heywood Hotel, electric bicycle tour; RW)

(MA with the tag)
Seattle
Austin

$3140

$3140
$3976

$3140
FUHGEDDABOUDIT

(Malek's from Brooklyn, y'see.)

Definitely a dispappointing way for this show to start, but hopefully things are about to change. In our next segment, there's a six-figure payday at stake, one that Mike Richards has no control over whatsoever! Stick around...

3. Three pairs of Diane von Furstenberg designer shoes (AL)
Melissa
670
Samantha
800
Shannen
700
Joyce
600

$846



Samantha, prepare yourself.

...Yes, I know that's how Joe the C. always led off Plinko when he was doing recaps for G-R, but this time I really mean for Samantha to prepare herself. She's about to Plinko like no one has ever Plinkoed before.

Not with a $5,000 slot... not with a $10,000 slot... not even with the $20,000 slot from the MDS format... but with a one hundred thousand dollar slot!

Which means, of course, the unattainable top dollar value for this game is a cool half-million (as we've been teasing all week). But it's certainly conceivable for at least one chip, and possibly two, to fall into the big money -- and all that's necessary is for two $100K chips, really. That alone would displace Vicky Ann (who scored a $147,517 DSW from the Season 35 premiere) and cement Samantha as the al-time single-day winner in daytime history.

On the other hand... well, Plinko is Plinko, and we all know how stingy that board has been of late. (There are, by the way, no other changes to the board layout. Those pesky zeroes are still there, as are the $1,000, $500, and $100 slots.)

Only way to find out is to do it... so let's do it!

(MA on SPs)
Electric yogurt maker
BPA-free water bottle
Portable iPod speaker
Serrated watermelon knife
7
0
1
6
5
3
2
3
WIN!
$60
$
$
WIN!
$18
5
0
$
WIN!
$25

The only reason I knew the iPod speaker was $50 was because it was used in Pathfinder the other day. Samantha wouldn't have had that advantage.

Four out of five chips is still pretty good in this day and age, however. And with each chip having a 1:9 chance of being worth a hundred grand... well.

All I can say is, good luck! It's now officially out of everyone's hands except those of Fate. (Please be in a good mood...)

(MA with the most important handoff in the thirty-year history of Plinko)

And awayyyyy we go...

Chip #1:

$







1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
9
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
$500
TOTAL

(Here come the "check the slots for magnets" cries...)

Chip #2:



$





1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
9
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
$500
TOTAL

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!! That was PAINFULLY close!

No more of those, please. My heart may not be able to take much more.

Chip #3:








$
1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
9
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
$600
TOTAL

Only one chip left. Can it still happen? Can Samantha still pull this one off and join Ani on the list of big winners?

















































...she drops the chip...






































...it bounces through the pegs...













































...ultimately coming to a rest in...






















































...the slot marked...




















































Chip #5:






$


1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
|
0
|
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
9
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
$1,600
SADNESS

That... that's just... I...

...oh, let's just get out of here. I don't even wanna talk about it anymore. ;_;

(CC1: Allegra-D... at least it's not the ambulance chasers)

Our only hope now is that Showcase Showdown #1 marks the beginning of a comeback from the biggest Price is Right bummer of all time:

Bill
85
.85

$631

Malek
80
10
.90
WIN

Samantha
80
65
1.45

$2,549

Samantha can't buy a break today... just like that one chip flirted so closely with the $100K slot, so too does her second spin end up kissing the peg that would've clicked the arrow over to 10... enough to keep her alive in a Spin-Off.

Does it show enough that I just hate it when these things happen? Evil setups are one thing, but when it comes down to just plain rotten luck... >_<

Oh well. We will rebound. We have to. We're bound to... right?

4. Escalade Sports Atomic 7' air hockey table (RW, MA)
(Go Blue Jackets!)
Melissa
551
Kevin
658
Shannen
651
Joyce
550

$700



Push Over:
Moto Guzzi V7 motorcycle (AL)

3
5
4
9
1
8
0
0
2


Motorcycle

$9,180. Nothing else comes close to looking at all right here. (Maybe the $8K price, if it wasn't A) in the first position and B) an oddball number like $8,002.)


3
5
4
9
1
8
0

9
1
8
0
WIN!

I don't think it's possible to fully recover from the heartbreak of Plinko... but inasmuch as anything can, we're off to the best start we can be under the circumstances. And it also wards off the dreaded skunk, something I was starting to secretly fear.

5. Elmira Stove Works retro-look dishwasher (MA)
Melissa
650
Deborah
249
Shannen
500
Joyce
899



$1498

Protip: Elmira Stove Works = the Cadillac of kitchen appliances, at least in terms of comparative price. It's certainly not the Kenmore or Whirlpool cheapies you can find at your local Sears. If you see one come up, bid accordingly.

10 Chances:
  1. West Bend iced tea brewer (AL)
  2. Sony 14" laptop computer (500GB HD, 4GB RAM; AL)
  3. 2013 Ford Fiesta SE (1.6L, message ctr, trip computer, 6AT, heated front seats, rear carpeted mats; RW)


Iced tea maker
6 5 0

1
50
6 5 0

2
65
6 5 0
ZERO RULE VIOLATION
3
60
$60
WIN

Yeah. Worried now.

Laptop computer
3 0 6 9

4
960
3 0 6 9

5
609
3 0 6 9
URGE TO KILL RISING
6
690
3 0 6 9
BETTER, BUT STILL WRONG
7
630
$630
SIGH OF RELIEF

The hard part's done. Now she has three chances for the car, which hopefully is enough ("Better than a lot of people get on this game," observes Drew).

Car
7 3 0 8 1
My prediction: PAIN. $17,380.
8
18370
7 3 0 8 1

9
17830
7 3 0 8 1

10
17380
$18,730
LOSS

You got me, Richards, fair and square. I didn't even consider $18,730, since it's the most expensive thing on the board. (If only Joyce hadn't done that silly $609 for the computer...)


Melissa, today is depressing enough. Don't make us have to banish you to Leftover Island on top of everything else...

6. Four pairs of Giorgio Armani his & hers designer sunglasses (JE)
Melissa
1250
Deborah
850
Shannen
1251
Lettecia
1200

$1090



Alas.

Pick-a-Pair:
Maid service (12 visits), groceries (52 weeks), & flowers (12 deliveries; TheBouqs.comfor 1 year ($6,197; MA, AL)

  • Ortega taco shells (18)
  • Mio Liquid water enhancer
  • Finesse hair spray (7oz)
  • Anthony's whole grain elbow macaroni (13.25oz)
  • Dole pineapple chunks
  • Kellogg's Pop-Tarts toaster pastries

Strawberry Pop-Tarts. As an old-time fan of Sailor Moon in the US, that particular product brings back a few memories...

Try #1:
Taco shells
Flavoring
Hair spray
Macaroni
Pineapple
Pastries
$2.99




$2.99
WIN!

Well, we did manage to salvage a little pride anyway. That counts for something.

(CC2: IcyHOT/Allegra again!)

Showcase Showdown #2:

Joyce
80
.80

$2,188
Deborah
*100
1.00
$1,000 Bonus
Kevin
30
60
.90

$9,980
Bonus Spin
75



Showcases: Deborah top winner, Malek runner-up.

1. A Breath of Fresh Air
(We could use it after that Plinko disaster...)
  • Zuo Modern Maui outdoor bed (MA)
  • Trip to Belize (6n, Mystic River Resort; MA)
    • Daily breakfast
    • 1d trip to Butterfly Ranch
  • West Wight Potter 19' sailboat w/trailer (AL)
Deborah passes; Malek bids $23,450.
(My bid: $29,627)


2. Fun on the Slopes
  • His & hers snowboarding equipment (RW)
  • Pair of Giro camera helments (RW)
  • Trip to Whistler, BC (6n, Delta Whistler Village Suites; RW)
    • 2d lift tickets
  • 2013 Jeep Patriot Sport 4x4 (2L, FWD, AC, power value grp; MA)
Deborah bids $28,000.
(My bid: $34,150)


Moment of Truth
1. Malek
Belize/Sailboat
2. Deborah
Canada/SUV
Bid
$23,450
$28,000
ARP
$28,326
$30,253
Result
$4,876
$2,253

$1,213
Deborah wins!
$38,540 (Chyron)
My result
$1,301
$3,897

Once again, West Wight Potter proves my downfall.

LEADER BOARD: Episode #6325K
Deborah
$38,540
Kevin

$9,880

Samantha

$2,549

Joyce

$2,188

Malek
$1,213

Bill

$631
TOTAL WINNINGS
$55,001
8.57% of $630,177 + $1,000 bonus
Average: $9,167
Median: $19,586

And to put the wrap-up on Big Money Week... I told you we were keeping track:

Out of a potential $1,135,716 offered in this weeks "inflated" games (note that I don't count Pay the Rent, because that's always a $100,000 game), we only managed to give away... get ready for this...

...a paltry, dismal, miserable $3,600. </AnneRobinson> A mere 0.32% of the total.

On the one hand, so much for extravaganzas like this. On the other, nothing ventured nothing gained. And we still got our $100K winner, albeit in a game not directly affected by the gimmick. I'll count that as a good week regardless.

Here's to hoping we can do this again one day, and if we do, we can cross our fingers hoping for a better result. ;^)

2 comments:

  1. Mike, you've gotta put more on the line. We need MORE 6-digit 3 Strikes games! More $250,000 Punch a Bunch offers! Grand Game, you're off the hook. PLiNKO needs some sort of way to where *EVERY* contestant somehow gets the middle slot.

    Gotta find a way to give more away, because my heart nearly BROKE at no $100,000 win in PLiNKO, although they gave it away in Pay the Rent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just wanted to say that I absolutely adore your comments for zero-violation rules in Ten Chances.

    (This is racingchick from the GSN boards, obviously under a different pseudonym.)

    ReplyDelete