Archives for Freakonomics contest



Win a Think Like a Freak T-Shirt or Signed Copy: What Are the Three Hardest Words to Say?

In our forthcoming Think Like a Freak, the second chapter is called “The Three Hardest Words in the English Language.”

I’m not going to tell you here what we argue are the three hardest words to say (although you can find out pretty easily by glancing at the Table of Contents). I want to know what you think are the three hardest words for people to say, especially in public. And by “hard,” I am not talking about pronunciation, although I guess I’m not not talking about pronunciation either.

The best answer that is left in the comments — as voted by a secret quorum of Freaks — will win you a signed copy of Think Like a Freak or a new Think t-shirt, your choice. Read More »



Ol’ Man Levitt: The Answer to the Freakonomics Quiz

Earlier this week I posed a quiz to blog readers: what happened twice to me in the last few days that had never once happened to me in the first 45 years of my life.

Well, it turns out that the answers readers posted turned out to be a pretty interesting data for analysis.  At the time that my researcher Sara Kuse crunched the numbers, there were 280 guesses (some commenters guessed more than once, and we counted all their guesses) that fell into roughly 110 different categories. 

The most commonly made guesses were getting robbed or mugged, making a hole in one, getting recognized/asked for an autograph, winning a prize, losing something like a wallet being in a car accident, and being stung by a bee.  Over 30 percent of all the guesses were one of those items.  None of those would qualify, however, because they’ve all happened to me at least once before.  Getting robbed and a hole in one were two great guesses – both have happened to me exactly once in my life.  Read More »



Freakonomics Quiz: Twice Is Enough

Last week something that has never happened to me before in my life, occurred twice, independently, in two days.

What was it? First correct answer in the comments section gets Freakonomics swag.

Although that is a meager set of hints, I’ve found that no matter how hard the quiz, Freakonomics blog readers can answer just about any question within an hour. I’ll be curious to see what happens on this one. Read More »



Dad-or-Daughter Contest: We Have a Winner

I’m happy to announce that Elizabeth Simpson won the Dad-or-Daughter Songwriting Contest by correctly identifying Friend Zone as the song that I coauthored with my daughter, as well as correctly identifying a line in that song that I composed (“But you just laughed it off and said we’d always be bros”), and a line in the song that Anna composed (“I bought a shirt today with your favorite band.”).

Elizabeth turns out to be a former student from my 2006 small group in contracts. In her email, she describes the method behind her entry: Read More »



A Freakonomics Contest, Nostalgia Edition

I was in California the other day and saw someone doing something that I haven’t seen done in a good while. I used to do it myself quite a bit, when I was in college, largely out of necessity. What was it? Read More »