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?

Gillian: Yep.

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.

Gillian: Okay.

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.

Gillian: Yeah?

Simon: See? She’s very smart.

Peter: She is.

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

Gillian: Okay.

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?

Gillian: Yeah.

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?

Gillian: Yeah.

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?

Gillian: Yeah.

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?

Gillian: Okay.

Simon: Now what are you going to bet me?

Gillian: A couple of drinks?

Simon: $20.

Gillian: Okay.

Simon: $20.

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.

Peter: $20.02.

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.

Gillian: Okay.

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

Peter: Because there’s a right down there.

Simon: There. . .

Peter: Whoa.

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.