One Heck of a Problem

One Heck of a Problem

Imagine this, you are on a game show and you have just reached the final round; you are only one problem away from winning a brand new car. The announcers shows you three doors, behind one is a new car while the other two hold nothing. You pick your door and the kind announcer tells you he will help you out by revealing one of the doors that hold nothing. Now you are left with your door and the other one that is left. The announcer asks if you would like to switch your choice, but should you?

This conundrum is called the Monty Hall Problem, named after the host of Let’s Make A Deal, Monty Hall who often gave this scenario to contestants. However this problem was solved by the person who holds the world record for the highest IQ ever recorded. This person is Marilyn Vos Savant, she was a writer for Parade magazine and was asked by a reader to solve the Monty Hall Problem. She solved this conundrum that had stumped many educated people, and the answer was simpler than people thought.

Normally in these types of situations the contestants would imagine that staying with or switching their choice wouldn’t matter because either way its a fifty-fifty chance of receiving the car. But, Marilyn Von Savant rationalized that in that scenario you most definitely should switch your choice. Here’s her reasoning, in the beginning you have the probability of choosing a car one-third of the time, and the other two-thirds of the time you walk away with nothing. Once you make your choice and one of the possibilities is taken away, you are left with two doors, one with a car the other with disappointment. Since you most likely picked a door with nothing at the beginning you should switch your answer because you’re two-thirds more likely to get the car if you switch.

This problem which had stumped many was finally solved and the answer now makes many people rethink their game show choices. So if you ever find yourself confronted with the Monty Hall problem for some reason, you can now more confidently pick an answer.

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