Dollar auction


John Smith has come up with a perfect plan to get rich: he is gonna auction dollar notes, but with a twitch. The dollar note will be won by the highest bidder, as usual, but the next highest bidder also has to pay his bid.

Now if you wonder how this is gonna make him money, let’s consider how an auction is likely to develop. It is obvious worthwhile to bid 1 cent, so someone will likely do that. It is also profitable to overbid this with 2 or 5 cents, so let’s say someone else will bid that. prices will go up. But a problem develops near the 100 dollar cent limit. Let’s say someone hits 98 cents. Someone else bids 99 cents. Then the person with the 98 cents bid will loose 98 cents unless he bids 100. And then the first person, who is about to loose 99 cent, is better off by a bid of 101 cent.

Now, how can you, as one of the bidders, outsmart John Smith?

Fellow consultant Con Diender was kind enough to buy me the booklett “Einstein’s riddle”, by Jeremy Stangroom. Though I think the title is not accurate – the zebra puzzle is a puzzle, not a riddle – it is an interesting collection of problems. The problem above was mentioned in this book, though the author gives an incomplete or incorrect answer.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s