Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    21 Feb '15 06:53
    An NZ supermarket chain is offering collectable cards with purchases.

    With every $10 spent you get 4 cards (all different).

    There are 108 cards to collect.

    How much do you have to spend before you are likely
    (better than 50% chance) to obtain a set?

    This is a real problem and I'm very keen to know the answer!

    THANKS
  2. 21 Feb '15 10:48
    These are not computations you can do by hand. If we believe Wolfram|Alpha, that would be about 550 cards: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=108!*S2%28k%2C108%29%2F108^k+from+k%3D500+to+600
  3. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Feb '15 13:54
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    These are not computations you can do by hand. If we believe Wolfram|Alpha, that would be about 550 cards: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=108!*S2%28k%2C108%29%2F108^k+from+k%3D500+to+600
    So that would mean you need to spend $1375 to get 50%.
  4. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    21 Feb '15 23:18
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So that would mean you need to spend $1375 to get 50%.
    Yes it's a nice little ploy by the Marketing People!
    Especially as the cards are aimed at children and you know how they like to collect cards!
    http://www.countdown.co.nz/superanimals
  5. 22 Feb '15 00:00 / 4 edits
    Did a small perl simulation of this:
    Over 10000 successes, min money was £670, max was £3460, mean was £1,409.78, median was £1,350 and stddev was £336.62

    Over 100000 successes, min money was £650, max was £4490, mean was £1,404.93, median was £1,350 and stddev was £335.05

    So the answer seems pretty stable, I would expect to pay the median of £1,350, although as the large max shows, you can pay a lot more if you are unlucky with getting the last card.

    Of course the vastly most efficient way is to collaborate with other collectors by swapping your duplicates for ones you do not have.
    http://www.countdown.co.nz/superanimals/swapzone

    And, as a possible downside, often with these things there are not equal probabilities of getting each card.
  6. 22 Feb '15 14:49
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Yes it's a nice little ploy by the Marketing People!
    Especially as the cards are aimed at children and you know how they like to collect cards!
    http://www.countdown.co.nz/superanimals
    Oh, we had those over here, too, or something very similar. My nieces and nephew collected the whole set. Not by spending large amounts, mind you - by trading with their classmates. If there's one thing children love even more than collecting cards it's swapping them with their friends.
  7. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    22 Feb '15 23:51
    THANKS for all the help guys!!!
    It's worse than I thought because it's a $20 spend.
    But as pointed out the store have set up a swap zone. :-)
  8. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    10 Mar '15 06:24
    Now have 500+ cards.
    Need two for first set.
    Need 8 for second set.
    Promotion finishes in 5 days.
    Word on the playground is nobody has a set yet.
  9. Standard member st dominics preview
    troll taunter
    10 Mar '15 09:59
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Now have 500+ cards.
    Need two for first set.
    Need 8 for second set.
    Promotion finishes in 5 days.
    Word on the playground is nobody has a set yet.
    when I collected such cards in the 60's, us kids were convinced that 'they' held back certain cards until the 'run' had almost finished to keep us buying...

    Suddenly, in the last few days, a card that was absolutely non-existant before would 'swamp the market'

    I am sure it was just coincidence!!