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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
DOI: 10.4169/college.math.j.44.1.009
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Page Count: 8
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Suspense at the Ballot Box
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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.

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