The Price Is Right is a game show that’s as much about strategy as it is about chance. Whether you’re guesstimating the price of a new washing machine or undercutting your fellow contestant by only betting a dollar, it’s important to think through all your options before telling host Drew Carey what you want to do. Unless you’re Kevin, the guy who gave up the chance to win a new car in exchange for $1,500.
This parade of poor decision making all started with Kevin playing the Price Is Right mini-game “Let ‘Em Roll,” in which contestants are tasked with rolling five large dice, each of which has a 50% chance of landing on a car icon. If the contestant gets five car icons, they go home with a brand new car. Kevin started off the game with tremendous luck, rolling three car icons and one die with $1,500. His fifth and final die rolled of the board and had to be tossed again, but that re-roll resulted in yet another car icon. Now Kevin had to decide if he was going to re-roll that last non-car dice block for the big prize or walk away with the $1,500 he’d already secured.
“I’ll take the $1,500 cash, Drew,” Kevin proclaimed with bewildering confidence. The crowd erupted in a mixture of “Boo” and variations of “What are you thinking?” but Kevin was undeterred. Drew Carey was clearly a little disappointed with the anti-climax, so he took a moment to reexplain the rules to Kevin, just to make sure he knew he had two more chances to win the car. But Kevin reassured him he knew exactly what he was doing. “Oh no, $1,500 is fine. I love The Price Is Right! Wooo!”
While almost all viewers will look upon this man’s decisions with confusion and anger, the statistics junkies over at SB Nation have made the case that Kevin is actually a “secret genius” for avoiding the biggest bummer about being gifted a new car: taxes. It’s possible Kevin knew that, if he were to re-roll that $1,500— the highest dollar value possible in the game —he would only have a 1-in-6 chance of getting it again. But if he re-rolled and got the car, he’d be stuck paying thousands of dollars in taxes. So, in the end, Kevin made the smarter move. Or he didn’t know any of that and is very dumb. You be the judge!