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Suspense at the Ballot Box
Nat Kell and Matt Kretchmar
The College Mathematics Journal
Vol. 44, No. 1 (January 2013), pp. 9-16
Published by: Mathematical Association of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.4169/college.math.j.44.1.009
Page Count: 8
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Summary In the popular television show Survivor, the winner of a million-dollar prize is determined in a final election, where the votes are read aloud as the winner is announced. We hypothesize that the show’s producers purposely alter the order of the ballots in order to build audience suspense. We test our hypothesis using the Poisson binomial distribution, then turn to entropy to confirm that the ballot order is likely altered.
Copyright the Mathematical Association of America 2013