TPIR 04: Freeze Frame

I love to use pricing games from The Price Is Right to teach my students probability. Freeze Frame, although it only involves basic probability, works well for this. Students are generally not exactly sure how many possibilities there are, and have to physically count them or make a list. Usually when we are discussing Freeze Frame as a class I talk about how difficult the counting of options in probability problems can frequently become. 

In prior posts I have mentioned how I usually flip these videos and have students watch them for homework on YouTube and discuss them on a Google Doc. For Freeze Frame I integrated it into a lesson and had students work out their solution in pairs on whiteboards. Everyone also made a «guess» as to the right answer which we finished watching after we talked about the problem.

Something else we always discuss with these Price Is Right problems is what the savvy contestant would do (frequently vs. what the average bear would do.) I mean sure, $1129 is one of the possibilities for the trip to Hawaii, but obviously the trip would cost much much more than that. If I have looked up the stats before hand it is also interesting to compare our best savvy contestant's probability to the actual probability of winning for contestants on the show.

Click through to watch a clip of Freeze Frame.

Click through to watch a clip of Freeze Frame.

The Price Is Right has male and female models now, and amusingly for my class the model in this clip had his shirt off. The Price Is Right Web site usually has about 5 different playings of each pricing game to watch, so if you like you can find a different playing of the game, but it is down as I write this.


It's time for another fabulous pricing game from The Price Is Right. Watch this clip of Freeze Frame (stop the tape before the contestant chooses an answer, about 1:35) and answer these questions:
(a) What is the probability of winning Freeze Frame if you just close your eyes and pull the lever whenever?
(b) Being a savvy contestant you would, of course, not do this, other than deferring to the audience, how would you increase your chances of winning Freeze Frame. What do you estimate your probability of winning to be?
(c) What do you guess the answer is? Finish watching the clip to see if you were right!