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How to Win the Circumference vs. Height Bar Bet

Learn how to win the circumference of a beer glass versus the height of a stack of napkins bar bet in this Howcast video.


Simon:Back again?


Peter:Back again.

Simon:For some more fun, my friends. I do have a good one for you. The great thing about learning all these bets, Gillian, is of course that you go off . . . I know you would never do this to your friends, but Gillian has been renowned to be wandering around New York City bars, taking money off people. She's sneaky.

Peter:Just as much as you are.

Simon:Of course I'm sneaky, but I'm not as pretty; although some would say otherwise. My friends, here's a great bet for you. Gillian, this was a science puzzle that was put to me once.


Simon:What would you say would be bigger: Would it be the circumference of the glass, which 2?r . . . just letting you know I know a bit of math; or the height of the glass to the table? It's quite a long way around there. What would you say would be bigger?

Gillian:I'm going to say the circumference.

Simon:Good answer.


Simon:See? She's very smart.

Peter:She is.

Simon:Let's say I've got some bar napkins here.


Simon:Which, coincidentally, I do, and I popped the bar napkins under the glass. Now the little bet here is, what's bigger?

Gillian:Which one?

Simon:The circumference, or the height, all the way to the table? It's getting close, isn't it?


Simon:It's getting close.

Gillian:I'm still going to say circumference.

Simon:I like you. That's why I'm going to add some more napkins. Look at his face. He's thinking, "It's the height."

Peter:It's got to be.

Simon:Circumference, or to the table? I like the way she's checking.

Gillian:I don't know. It's about even.

Simon:It's getting close, right?


Simon:Do you want to bet on it if I make it better for you?

Gillian:'If you make it better', what does that mean?

Simon:How about I add some napkins?

Gillian:Okay. I'm going to say the height.

Simon:You're going to say the height?


Simon:How much you going to bet me?

Gillian:A drink?

Simon:A drink? I normally go for more than a drink on this one. How about I add some more napkins?


Simon:Now what are you going to bet me?

Gillian:A couple of drinks?




Gillian:Call it a deal.

Simon:You know it's coming out of your wallet?

Peter:Yeah, where else?

Simon:Peter? How about I add some more napkins?

Peter:I don't know.

Simon:Do you want to hold onto that for me? Will you, darling?

Gillian:Of course.

Simon:Now what are you going to bet me?

Peter:It's got to be the height.

Simon:You're going to go for the height. How much are you going to bet me on that? I just added another bundle of napkins.


Simon:No, it was $20. You've got to go for a bit more than that.

Peter:All right.

Simon:I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll be kind to you. Let's add some more napkins still, onto it. I've just ponied up another 20-odd napkins there, so you've got to pony up another $20, surely.

Peter:Another $20?

Simon:$40. The little baby circumference against that entire height.

Gillian:All right. Let's do it.

Simon:$40? My friends, I have some string here that we can measure it with. This isn't stretchy string or anything, I promise you. You can check it out. I'll even let you measure it yourself. Guys at home, learn a lesson about math. There is the circumference.


Simon:Actually, it may even be slightly less than the circumference, if you noticed.

Peter:Because there's a right down there.

Simon:There. . .


Simon:. . . is the height. Kids, you should study math at school. It can make you a lot of money in later life, if you become a devious person like me. Take the napkins home to wipe off your tears . . .

Peter:Thanks, Simon.

Simon:. . . of exasperation, my friend.

Peter:I will do that.

Simon:But not before you buy me my $40 worth of drinks.

Peter:You're right.

Simon:Friends, that's circular logic.

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