If you’re old enough, you might remember a game show called Let’s Make a Deal hosted by a guy named Monty Hall. The show was a bit before my time, but one of the games from the show—or at least a variant of it—has stood the test of time to become one of the most debated math brain teasers ever. In honor of the show's host, it's called the Monty Hall problem.
What is this brain teaser about? Why is it so famous and so mind-bogglingly perplexing? And how can you break through the confusion and understand how to solve the Monty Hall puzzle once and for all? Those are exactly the questions we'll be talking about today!
What Is the Monty Hall Problem?
Here's the situation: You're standing in front of three closed doors and you're told by Monty Hall that you will win whatever is behind one of the doors. What exciting prizes might you win? Behind one of the doors is a brand new car. And behind the other two? Goats.
I don't know about you, but I actually think it'd be kind of cool to have a goat…milk, cheese, yum. But apparently people were a lot more interested in the new set of wheels. So the name of the game for most people—and the one we'll be talking about today—is to guess which door is concealing the car.