Universiteit Utrecht

Department of Mathematics

The game of googol

Sasha Gnedin (UU)
18 December 2007

The game of googol is a game form of the famous best-choice problem (also known under many other names), as appeared for the first time in print in M. Gardner's column of Scientific American (1960). The rules are as follows. Alice writes n distinct numbers on cards, the cards are turned face down and shuffled. Bob opens the cards one by one until he decides to stop. Bob wins if the number on the last opened card is the largest of all n, otherwise Alice wins. We shall give a complete solution to the game. Although some advanced tools will be exploited (dynamic programming, sufficient statistics etc), the talk is intended for a wide audience.

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Charlene Kalle