(I've got some great comments to respond to. I'll get to those later today. Keep them coming!)

**Clock Game**

(Blog post:

https://stoseontpir.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-ultimate-price-is-right-strategy_10.html)

**Random fact**

One of the people who made golden-road.net what it is, John Sly, got his start by playing this game. He played it so well that Bob told everyone watching, "If you want to prepare yourself to play the Clock Game on The Price is Right, play it exactly as this young man played it. It cannot be played better than that." The show he was on is here (jump to the 2:30 mark to see his Clock Game playing):

**Win-loss record (seasons 29-46):** 167-94 (63.98%)

**Strategy**

All prizes in this game are between $500 and $999 (inclusive)--they tried 4 digit prizes a couple of different times in this game's history but the results were fairly disastrous. So follow exactly what John did in the video above:

- Start at a price evenly divisble by $100. I like starting at $800, but if you want to start at $500, $600, $700, or $900, there's no problem with that.
- Zero in on the hundreds digit, keeping the tens and ones digits as 0. Go up or down $100 at a time and no more.
- Zero in on the tens digit, keeping the ones digit as 0. Start at X50 (where X is the hundreds digit from above), and then move up or down $10 at a time, and no more.
- Zero in on the ones digit.

Let me illustrate with an example. Let's say the price is $674.

You: 800

Drew: Lower

You: 700

Drew: Lower

You: 600

Drew: Higher

* You now know the price is 600 something. Go for the 10s digit, starting at the $50 mark:

You: 650

Drew: Higher

You: 660

Drew: Higher

You: 670

Drew: Higher

You: 680

Drew: Lower

* You now know the price is $670 something. On to the ones digit...

You: 671, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (The show has always accepted just the last digit once you've zeroed in to a $10 range. Don't wait for Drew to say "higher" or "lower" after each digit--spit out "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9" as fast as you can!)

This can easily be done in 15 seconds or less as long as you keep things moving.

As a suggestion, practice this while you're waiting to get into the studio! You have three hours between the time you arrive and the time you actually enter the Bob Barker studio, and most of that is down time. So find someone else in line, ask them to come up with a three digit number between 500 and 999, and you have to find it within 15 seconds using the strategy above. Switch roles afterward.

**Special note: do NOT use binary search!** If you don't know what binary search even is, then don't worry about this. But I bring this up because I've seen multiple places on-line suggest binary search as a strategy in Clock Game. For the uninitiated, binary search simply means that when you're looking for an element in a range, cut the range in half every time. Let's demonstrate with that same $674 example:

Bid 1: You know the prize is between $500 and $1000, so you bid the average, $750.

Drew: Lower.

Bid 2: You know the prize is between $500 and $750, so you bid the average, $625.

Drew: Higher.

Bid 3: You know the prize is between $625 and $750, so you bid the average, $688.

Drew: Lower.

Bid 4: You know the prize is between $625 and $688, so you bid the average, $657.

Drew: Higher.

Bid 5: You know the prize is between $657 and $688, so you bid the average, $673.

Drew: Higher.

Bid 6: You know the prize is between $673 and $688, so you bid the average, $681.

Drew: Lower.

Bid 7: You know the prize is between $673 and $681, so you bid the average, $677.

Drew: Lower.

Bid 8: You know the prize is between $673 and $677, so you bid the average, $675.

Drew: Lower.

Bid 9: The prize is now obviously $674, so you bid that and win.

Sounds good, right? It's a provable fact that binary search is the way, on average, to find a number in a range in the fewest number of guesses. So what's the problem? You're a human, not a computer.

**And for a human, fewer guesses doesn't mean a faster result.** For a computer, it does, so if you're programming a computer to play Clock Game, go ahead and use binary search. But the typical human is not going to be able to calculate those averages very fast. (Quick! What's the average of $657 and $688? Could you do even just that one in 15 seconds or less?) Thus the "hone in on each individual digit" method that John Sly used is so much better, and anyone who tells you to use binary search in this game either thinks you have the math capabilities of a computer or is wrong.