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White Elephant Gift Exchange


Best Answer bonanova, 06 May 2013 - 02:50 AM

Spoiler for looks like
Go to the full post


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11 replies to this topic

#1 BMAD

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:15 AM

This question comes from a modified white elephant gift exchange game (and is a tip of the hat to the many swapping puzzles out there lately).

 

This version of 'White Elephant' is rather simple:  There are six gifts and five people.  Each gift is a check worth either $10, $100, $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000.  No one knows which check is which as they are hidden in sealed envelopes. One person gets to select first.  They open the gift and reveal the prize to the group.  The person who goes second has a choice, they can take the gift from the first person or select another mystery envelope.  If they select a new envelope, then like the first person they reveal the gift to the group and allow the next person an option to take any gift previously opened or open a new envelope.  If a person elects to take an opened envelope from a previous person then that item is now permanently theirs and no one can take it from them.  The person who lost their envelope now must select a new envelope from the unopened pile.  Each person continues until they have an envelope (with one envelope left unopened).  The order of selecting the gifts must be finalized before any picking starts.

 

What would be the best position to go in if you get to decide when you pick?  What would be your expected winnings?


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#2 bubbled

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

This question comes from a modified white elephant gift exchange game (and is a tip of the hat to the many swapping puzzles out there lately).

 

This version of 'White Elephant' is rather simple:  There are six gifts and five people.  Each gift is a check worth either $10, $100, $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000.  No one knows which check is which as they are hidden in sealed envelopes. One person gets to select first.  They open the gift and reveal the prize to the group.  The person who goes second has a choice, they can take the gift from the first person or select another mystery envelope.  If they select a new envelope, then like the first person they reveal the gift to the group and allow the next person an option to take any gift previously opened or open a new envelope.  If a person elects to take an opened envelope from a previous person then that item is now permanently theirs and no one can take it from them.  The person who lost their envelope now must select a new envelope from the unopened pile.  Each person continues until they have an envelope (with one envelope left unopened).  The order of selecting the gifts must be finalized before any picking starts.

 

What would be the best position to go in if you get to decide when you pick?  What would be your expected winnings?

I only see five gifts. This looks like an interesting puzzle, but I's like to know if there's a $1 gift or a $1M gift.


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#3 BMAD

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

This question comes from a modified white elephant gift exchange game (and is a tip of the hat to the many swapping puzzles out there lately).

 

This version of 'White Elephant' is rather simple:  There are six gifts and five people.  Each gift is a check worth either $1,$10, $100, $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000.  No one knows which check is which as they are hidden in sealed envelopes. One person gets to select first.  They open the gift and reveal the prize to the group.  The person who goes second has a choice, they can take the gift from the first person or select another mystery envelope.  If they select a new envelope, then like the first person they reveal the gift to the group and allow the next person an option to take any gift previously opened or open a new envelope.  If a person elects to take an opened envelope from a previous person then that item is now permanently theirs and no one can take it from them.  The person who lost their envelope now must select a new envelope from the unopened pile.  Each person continues until they have an envelope (with one envelope left unopened).  The order of selecting the gifts must be finalized before any picking starts.

 

What would be the best position to go in if you get to decide when you pick?  What would be your expected winnings?

 

 

**Thank you for catching that


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#4 bonanova

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:46 PM

Spoiler for first thoughts

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#5 BMAD

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

Spoiler for first thoughts

Spoiler for not sure on your last assumption

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#6 bonanova

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:08 PM

You're right - it's at least a 1/6 chance. 
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#7 bonanova

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:50 AM   Best Answer

Spoiler for looks like

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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
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#8 BMAD

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:57 AM


Spoiler for question about your analysis

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#9 bonanova

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:06 AM

Spoiler for question about your analysis

 
Spoiler for How it works

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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#10 BMAD

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:07 AM

Spoiler for question about your analysis

nevermind... lol


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