Sunday, November 25, 2007

Which Temperature Is Lower, -6 or -8 Degrees?

It's not just Americans who are innumerate.

The Cool Cash game - launched on Monday - was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.

To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.

But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some. Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6.

Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme, called Camelot after failing to win with several cards.

The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: "On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.

"I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it...

A Camelot spokeswoman said the game was withdrawn after reports that some players had not understood the concept.



Anonymous said...

That is the funniest article I have read in a long time. I can't wait to take it in to my students tomorrow.

Are you sure this isn't a Monty Python skit?


Unknown said...

What worries me more than the appalling display of ignorance of the simple concept of a number line, is that the people who are mistaken are not terribly, horribly ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

i bet the didnt pass the exit exam