On Friday's The Price Is Right Drew Carey gave a little mention to ``the people keeping track of spins at home'' by noting that consecutive spins of the big wheel for the Showcase Showdown, for consecutive contestants, were both 25 cents. Either he's trusting in the boundless limits of fandom or he's aware that among the comment threads for the online episodes are occasionally people keeping track of how often Secret X or the Check Game have been won or lost this season. They aren't quite covering things in baseball game-like detail, but they're working on it.
And I'm not sure how to admit this but I've quietly joined the weird league of people taking statistical measure of The Price Is Right. I got into it with a fair spirit of inquiry: I wondered if, at the Showcase Showdown (in which three contestants spin the big wheel trying to get as close as possible to $1.00 without going over) whether spinning second or third is more likely to win. Spinning order is determined by ascending order of how much you won in the item-up-for-bid and your pricing games, but it seemed to me that the second person may have an edge: she has to do better than the first contestant to win the Showdown, yes, but the third person has to do better than that. And nonscientific tracking seemed to indicate a possible preference for the second position. The only thing to do was start keeping notes.
Well. From the 10th through 30th of November, ten times the first spinner won the Showcase Showdown, nine times the second did, and eleven times the third did. This suggests little preference. For the shows from 1 through 26 December (the last week of the year was reruns, not that this matters), the first contestant won nine times, the second thirteen, and the third eighteen times. For 5 through 30 January, the first and second contestants won nine times each, and the third twenty. And for February, the first contestant won eleven times, the second fourteen, and the third fifteen. So from November through February the first contestant won 39 times, the second 45, and the third 64. This would seem to suggest that the third contestant is the one to be, but who knows if I'll ever convince myself adequately of that fact to stop counting. I've made some interesting studies of the Showcase, too.
Trivia: Baseball published-statistics pioneer John Lawres began collecting the records of every baseball player after fans questioned his high opinion of the 1889 New York Giants. His collection grew to a full-sized ledger book and from 1912, Who's Who In Baseball. Source: The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination With Statistics, Alan Schwarz.
Currently Reading: Flash Of Genius And Other True Stories Of Invention, John Seabrook. Inspiration for the Greg Kinnear movie that you didn't see, although that makes up only the first chapter.