My Indian friend Jamal recently participated in the well-known TV quiz show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Wants_to_Be_a_Millionaire). You might have heard or read about Jamal's spectacular success; the media reported on it extensively.

Here is what Jamal told us about his 100 Euro question:

At the beginning I was quite nervous. My hands were sweaty and sticky. After some polite chatting with Prem Kumar, the music started and the lights were turned down so that I could not see anyone in the room but Prem. I stared at his lips. The show began.

Prem slowly read the question and each of the four answers in that famous, deep, fascinating voice of his. Since this was the first question, it seemed pretty easy. The answers were four consecutive integers in increasing order. My first quick thought was to pick answer B, but then I suddenly remembered the last time I bought some doughnuts and chose answer C instead.

What was the 100 Euro question?
What where the four possible answers A, B, C, D?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ In India the official currency is the Indian rupee (₹), not Euro. $\endgroup$ – Marco Bonelli Mar 30 '15 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ I know, I'm from Italy, but you're talking about an Indian quiz-show here, and in the Indian "Who wants to be a millionaire?" the participants obviously win rupees, not euros. $\endgroup$ – Marco Bonelli Mar 30 '15 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ You should mention that then, just for clarity you know... $\endgroup$ – Marco Bonelli Mar 30 '15 at 14:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Give me back Gerry Scotti! $\endgroup$ – leoll2 Mar 30 '15 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ Does the (1) in the title imply that there will be more? $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 30 '15 at 17:40

My guess is:

How many is a baker's dozen?

With the choices being:

A: 11
B: 12
C: 13
D: 14

And the reasoning behind that is:

Thinking of 12 is a natural first reaction when one hears the word "dozen". A "baker's dozen" is actually 13, but unless one is already familiar with this term they may not know that it is 13 until they go to a baker and actually order a baker's dozen of something. Much like in the movie, there were many of the answers that others might have considered common knowledge but Jamal wouldn't have known if he hadn't had some life experience which taught him that fact.


The Question is:

What nonpositive number do you multiply by $-1$ to get number of holes of an American doughnut?

With the choices being:

A: -3
B: -2
C: -1
D: 0

And the reason why this is correct:

Naturally, torus has two holes, so the answer is B because $-1\cdot(-2) = 2$. But, wait! Last time our hero bought a doughnut and tried to eat it he noticed strange thing indeed. Doughnut was not actually a torus, it was solid. Thus, doughnut only has one hole, so the answer is C.

  • $\begingroup$ You made me laugh! Have an upvote! $\endgroup$ – dmg Mar 30 '15 at 18:39

My guess is that the 100€ question was:

What's the average price of two doughnuts in an italian bar?

And the four answers were:

A: 1€ - B: 2€ - C: 3€ - D: 4€


Jamal looks at the answers and his first thought goes to the answer B (2€), because of the price corresponding with the number of doughnuts; then he remembers the last time he bought two doughnuts, which payed 3 euros, and changes his mind choosing the right answer: C.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That quote on your profile is really funny, by the way $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 30 '15 at 15:32

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