Ever Thought Carnival Games are Ripping You Off?

Mark Rober unravels exactly how carnival games are designed to "RIP YOU OFF."
Jessica Miley

Sideshow alley or carnival games are notorious for their ability to rip you off. But what is the science behind it? Gregarious YouTube host, Mark Rober went off and did some on the ground investigation and presented his findings here for us.

First Rober put the games into three categories: luck based games, skill games, and then there are the games that Rober call ‘near impossible to win’. To begin with, Rober talks us through the statistics of winning each of these categories. Not surprisingly, these are not in your favor. Basically to win one of these tempting larger than life stuffed animals you need to shell out a minimum of $25 to fulfill the probability, but if you do win, the toy you triumphantly take home is actually worth just a quarter of that.

All the games are designed to make winning as hard as possible. The chance or luck games usually involve throwing a ring or ball at a sea of targets, which sounds possible right? But the tricky carnival game designers do everything in the way of stopping you winning.

The targets are small and the balls are light. With the skill games, Rober discovered each one had been altered a tiny bit to make the game just that much more difficult. For instance, the basketball ring in the throw game was a foot higher than regular basketball hoops. Rober also broke down the ‘near impossible’ to win games. The most famous of these is the rope climb. He explains the science behind its impossibility and offers some tips to the foolhardy who do attempt it!