Thursday, December 18, 2014

(blog): Another Jeopardy Math Category

Just a couple weeks after Jeopardy had its Non-Common Core Math category during Kids Week, they ventured again into that academic field, but this time with adults. They fared a little better. For one thing, they made it through all five clues, including a Daily Double, and they didn't wait until everything else was exhausted.

Unlike the kids' clues, these didn't all have to do with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 being added and multiplied.

The first question involved calculating a 20% tip on a $16.00 fare. The contestant managed to calculate the tip correctly ($3.20), but got the answer wrong. Neither of his opponents picked up that his calculation was correct, but that the clue wanted the total, which was $19.20, as Alex pointed out. (He will always point things like this out. I think he delights in that sort of thing. But to continue . . . )

The second clue asked for the greatest common factor of 84 and 105. Oddly (to me), the first contestant said 7, which was incorrect. I had already checked 3 (yes) and 9 (no) using simple Rules for Divisibility when the second contestant said, 3, which is smaller than 7. Had he or the third contestant realized that 7 was, in fact, a common factor as well as 3, then they should have realized that the GCF was 21. I have to say that if you don't see 7 right away, you won't get 21 in the allotted time. On the other hand, 7 was called and it should have been a quick check.

The third clue checked your knowledge of time. If your friend meets you 130 minutes after 11:30 am, when would you meet him? Two hours and ten minutes later would be 1:40 pm.

The fourth clue, the Daily Double, dealt with the surface area of a cube 10 cm wide. (I don't remember the actual unit, so I'll say it was centimeters, but it was definitely 10.) The contestant started to answer, paused and then answered correctly that it was 600 square centimeters.

Finally, the $1000 clue was a simple two-step equation: If 3x - 11 = 43, then was it x? Alex was surprised at how fast the answer was given. I was still dividing 54 by 3 -- there was $1,000 on the line, and I didn't want to rush and get it wrong.

Overall, the topics were spread out a bit, and with the exception of the clock math, they were good questions for an Algebra Regents review sheet -- especially, the one asking for the total and not just the tip.

The dangerous part for me in all this? The only thing worse than being a math teacher who didn't make it a true Daily Double would be being the math teacher who made it a true Daily Double and got it wrong. Luckily, that wouldn't have been a problem.

On the other hand, I had the same fear with the million-dollar question on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, so I guess it's a good thing that I don't go on these shows!

Update: Typo fixed in question 3.


"Shecky Riemann" said...

Am I missing something here?: 130 mins. from 11:30 would be 1:40 (not 1:30)

(x, why?) said...

Typo. Fixed. Thanks.

Dennis Stout said...

I dunno. You might make some embarrassing mistake, but you could still take home several grand.

I'll embarrass myself for that. For 1 grand, even, I'd pick my nose on national television. Everyone can laugh all they want as I go buy yet another semester of school! Bwahahahahaaaa!