Reader Question: 100 Boxes. How Many Would You Open?

Just a quickie post today as Mr. PoP and I wallow in self-pity from being in bed sick all weekend.  


Mr. PoP was surfing Reddit recently, as he’s been known to do, and came across the a thread that proposed the following conundrum.

Suppose you were presented with 100 unlabeled boxes.  99 of them contain $1 million.  The 100th box contains a substance that will cause instant death.  You open the boxes one at a time and you get to keep whatever is in the boxes that you open.

How many boxes will you open?  

Mr PoP and I both independently came up with the same answer (which is nice).


Our Answer

We’d open one box.  The way we look at it, there are probably a lot of things that we do in life that have cumulative chances of death greater than 1%, but don’t offer the benefits of pretty immediate reaching of most of our financial goals and enabling near instant retirement and financial freedom.  But we wouldn’t open more than one.  A second million dollars would have a much smaller marginal impact on our overall life goals than the first and felt like it’d be tempting fate a bit too much.


But what would your answer be?  How many boxes would you open?

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