Editorials

The penny that doubles every day for a month

I ran across the old penny that doubles every day for a month question again.. if you’re not familiar the question is “would you rather have a million dollars or a penny that doubled every day for a month.” It seems to be the majority of what YouTube Shorts and Facebook want to show me this week for some reason.

TL;DR – how to make people lose by changing the question

The correct answer is shown to be the penny, because it’s $5,368,709.12 but I noticed the questions people are asking are “a penny that doubles every day.” This, it should be noted is different than the question “starting from a penny and doubling that amount every day.” which produces this:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 4
  • 8
  • 16
  • 32
  • 64
  • 128
  • 256
  • 512
  • 1024
  • 2048
  • 4096
  • 8192
  • 16384
  • 32768
  • 65536
  • 131072
  • 262144
  • 524288
  • 1048576
  • 2097152
  • 4194304
  • 8388608
  • 16777216
  • 33554432
  • 67108864
  • 134217728
  • 268435456
  • 536870912

The question people are asking is “a penny that doubles every day or a million dollars” well, here’s the shortened breakdown of a penny that doubles every day

  • 1
  • 2 (penny 1 doubled)
  • 3 (penny 1 doubled again, penny 2 didn’t)
  • 4 (penny 1 doubled, 2-3 didn’t)
  • 5 (penny 1 doubled, 2-4 didn’t)

You see where this is going. At the end in this scenario you have 31 cents because only one item is reproducing itself. A penny that becomes two every day. Not all the pennies are in the doubling basket, in this case only one is.

And that’s how you make people lose every time.

This has been your dose of there’s no android news today and I’m not going to post videos about how to look up Amazon’s customer support phone number or “what is snapchat” which seems to be what sites are doing more and more with the Google Helpful SEO update.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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2 thoughts on “The penny that doubles every day for a month

  • A lot of those internet “puzzles” where people argue about the answer for 10000 comments are usually the result of failures of the English language to clearly convey meaning. It’s funny to watch, especially the math ones where there really is a right answer but people who’ve forgotten their basic math skills argue ad nauseum even though they are wrong.

    Reply
  • A lot of those internet “puzzles” where people argue about the answer for 10000 comments are usually the result of failures of the English language to clearly convey meaning. It’s funny to watch, especially the math ones where there really is a right answer but people who’ve forgotten their basic math skills argue ad nauseum even though they are wrong.

    Reply

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