Lowest Unique Number Ballot

This week’s challenge doesn’t seem to be a challenge at all. All you have to do is put your name and number on a piece of paper and wait to see the results.

We tried this in our weekly club and the discussion that it created was really wonderful to see. At some points it reminded us of the movie The Princess Bride (please note that we do not share Vizzini’s views about Australians)

In our group, we started talking about how many people were likely to choose 1 and then how many people would think that other people would choose 1 and so on.

Some important things to note were:

  • We only had 12 people in our group and so there had for each of us, there would have to be a number under 12 that would be possibly unique.
  • We decided to say that we would round numbers to the nearest integer and that would be their entry.
  • We decided to disqualify any numbers less than 1.

To run this, you would just need a small slip of paper and a pen/cil for each voter.

Set out the rules

  • Write you name on the slip
  • Write a positive whole number
  • To win, your number needs to be
    • unique
    • lower than any other unique number

Here was the result of one of our ballots

Ballot entries

We will provide a way to try this out on a larger scale. We will host an online way to try this ballot to enable you to experiment with your own ideas around this kind of data.

See our next post in this series.

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