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The Brode Report  |  March 2011

David Brode profile   Hi, this is David Brode. Sometimes I see problems that just beg to be solved in Excel. I’ve taken stabs at Sudoku and Ken Ken that were immensely satisfying. I do just love watching the computer solve puzzles; it reminds me of that scene from War Games. This month's article is about beating the odds behind "Let's Make a Deal" - yes, there is an Excel analysis for that.

Thanks so much for the referrals that have been coming in--they are very much appreciated.
  Struggling with spreadsheet data overload? Crazy-hard analysis?
Multiple entity forecasts? Complex cash flow structures?
I'm always happy to discuss situations--call me at (303) 444-3300.
Beating “Let’s Make a Deal”

"It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."
--Abraham Maslow

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
--The Shining

The Monty Hall Problem is a classic. Wikipedia’s article summarizes it like this:

  Suppose you're on a game show, and you're given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what's behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, "Do you want to pick door No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

The answer is counter-intuitive: in one study of 228 people only 13% chose the correct answer, and apparently even Nobel physicists regularly answer incorrectly. Read on to see an elegant Excel demonstration proving that switching doubles your chances of winning.

Don't want to read? Watch the video of me explaining this analysis.

Or continue to the full article here.

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