# We have a winner! Two, really!

Every year at the DIY Trunk Show, we have a Guess How Many Rings contest at the Blue Buddha booth. It’s always a ton of fun for me to see what people’s perceptions of quantity are. It is clear that people tend to overestimate…often by a lot.

You can see the target jar way to the right of our display:

For those wishing to play at home before you read the answer…these rings are size P16, and yes, there is a layer of black rings at the top, the same height as the other colors.

This year, we had two winners! One guy I remember, because he came up and very carefully studied the rings, and took a good couple of minutes to do some calculations based on the volume of the container. Very detailed! I am not sure what method the other person used, but the end result was the same. So congratulations to Paul K. and Maria S. – your guesses of 12,000 rings were closest to the actual number of 11,100 and you each win a gift certificate worth \$25.

And now for the usual mathy geekiness surrounding the guesses (I have too much fun with numbers, sometimes):
Range: 742 – 800,000
Mean (average): 34,044
Mean w/o 2 highest and 2 lowest: 5,913
Median: 4,764
Mode (most popular guesses): 12,000
I find it interesting that the Mode was also the winning number!
Runners up: 10,133 (off by 967), 70,000 (off by 1,200)
Most people underestimated – of all the guesses,80 % were less than the total.