# The gods may throw the dice

The Price Is Right snuck in another playing of ``Pay The Rent'' this week, to my surprise, because last week they'd done a Salute To Nurses and I would've figured they'd go for the \$100,000 tease then instead. Nope; the Nurses got Plinko but not the really big nobody-seems-to-get-this payout. Once again the contestant should have bailed out with \$10,000, and by all rights should have, except she apparently comes from a land where a small bottle of Liquid Plumr plausibly costs more than \$5.48.

Well, here goes. The prizes were the bottle of ``Drain Care'' product (\$3.99), a bottle of tabasco (\$1.69), a bag of Funnyuns (\$1.49), a Crunch bar (\$0.89), Ziploc bags (\$2.69), and a jar of grape jelly (\$2.79). Her placement was to start with the tabasco (level cost \$1.69), and then the Funnyuns and Crunch bar (\$2.38 total), then the jelly and the Ziploc bags (\$5.48), and the Liquid Plumr on top (\$3.99), as Drew Carey noted, the same way everybody arranges stuff in their house.

My Matlab/Octave script once again digs out two distinct solution sets. The first starts with the Ziploc bags (\$2.69 level); then the tabasco and Funnyuns (\$3.18); then the Crunch bar and grape jelly (\$3.68); and finally the drain cleaner (\$3.99). The alternative arrangement is to start with the grape jelly (\$2.79); then the tabasco and Funnyuns again (\$3.18, which made me think i was reading the wrong line of my results table); then the chocolate bar and the Ziploc bags (\$3.58); and finally the Liquid Plumr (\$3.99).

There've been multiple solutions now often enough that I'm tempted to go back to my old data sets, from when I worked this out by hand, and see whether the many times I found only the one solution was just because I gave up too soon. Maybe I will if I find an evening with more important stuff I should be doing first.

So far for the season, the range of prize prices has been \$3.90, \$4.80, \$4.70, and \$3.10. The range in winning levels, taking the more generous range, has been \$3.20, \$2.00, \$2.30, and now a vicious \$1.30.

Trivia: An 1842 report to the British government on the sanitary conditions of the working class found that more than 57 percent of working-class children born in Manchester died before reaching five years of age. Source: Coal: A Human History, Barbara Freese.

Currently Reading: A Game Of Inches: The Stories Behind The Innovations That Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.

PS: Reading the Comics, January 29, 2013, as there just are that many comic strips telling math jokes out there.

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