This post was originally written on 5/24/14. I thought it was worth revisiting. Not because the show in question was re-aired recently but because in a general conversation I was having with someone this week, they mentioned that they’d like to travel to another country and they gave the exact same answer mocked in this post. Before you roll your eyes at me and make excuses for them, you should know they live in the United States just like me. I weep for the future as we descend ever deeper into the plot of “Idiocracy.”
Sometimes the best way to win a game isn’t by swinging for the fences every time. Occasionally getting an answer “wrong” turns out to be the best way to the top of the leader board. It’s called strategy. Having trouble thinking of the kind of game that would reward not getting “correct” answers? I have one for you that my daughter and I would absolutely demolish if we ever got picked to participate.
Not only are our minds deep, vast reservoirs of completely useless information, but we also understand how stupid the human population can really be. That’s really the key point that would give us an edge on the show. You see, Family Feud is not based on correct answers, it’s based on what other people think are correct answers.
If you’ve ever watched TV since the 1980s you’ve probably caught a show or two and know how it’s played. But just in case, here are the rules: 100 people are surveyed on pointless questions (If your house caught on fire what would be the one thing you’d save? What are the most relaxing things to do on vacation? When you get on a plane what is one of the first things you do? On a scale of 1 to 10 how pretty do you think you are without makeup?) On one episode I saw, five (yes, five) of the 100 people answered a question thinking Hawaii was a separate country. The question was this: Name an exotic country?
Now it bears repeating…five people (presumably Americans) out of 100 thought Hawaii was a country.
So you see how my daughter and I might etch out some wins. To succeed at Family Feud, you can’t simply give answers that make sense…because as it turns out, not all of them will. What you want to do is give answers based on what you think 100 people off the street might say. Doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong, just that someone said it. For instance, name an exotic country. Answer: Hawaii. Yeah, we know that’s not true, but according to the survey that doesn’t matter. A wrong answer can garner you $20,000 and a brand new car.
And this is our strategy for winning. Don’t presume that everyone roaming around out there isn’t grossly misinformed about the world they’re living in. Sad, but profitable.