The Price is Right (probably)

Posted: June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

So it’s summer time and I was watching The Price is Right this morning. Now, I know some people don’t care for Drew Carey as the host, but I love how he made the show his own after taking over when Bob Barker retired. I love the new holiday episodes and the new ideas that he has brought to the game. In fact today, they brought social media into the show. What fun stuff!

Well, you know that I’m a math guy and let’s be honest, it’s math game. It always has been! So why not use the probability of each game to teach math? It’s right there! Real life!

So here’s a sample project you could do with the kids.

  1. Show them the Price is Right games website.
  2. Assign each person/group a row of five games. (You could also allow them to choose which they want to study)
  3. Students watch the videos of their games and figure out the probability of winning.
  4. If the contestant in the video loses, the student explains mathematically what they did wrong.
  5. Student makes a presentation sharing what they learned.
  6. If the student is able to go on the show AND choose one of their 5 games to play, which would they choose and why?

Allowing students to watch their own videos would mean that they are all needing to learn probability. They would not be able to sit and copy a neighbor. I also feel that really understanding how each game works and is played will get them excited to see the probability in all game shows. So many out there are based off of “luck” as many call it. Really, it’s just the probability of winning.

Another aspect that you could add to this is have the students create their own game and share the probability of winning for it. Students will start to see in the Price is Right games that they better chance of winning means a lesser prize, where as the cars and larger items have a smaller probability of winning.

Good luck!!!! – or should we say Happy Probability!!

In case you have some time to spare, watch the episode of all Plinko games!

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