The Most Popular Answers Contest: The Results

Last week, I asked people to enter what they think the most popular answer would be to each of 10 prompts. Sixty-seven of you responded, and here are the results! I had a lot of fun putting this together, I learned a bunch of lessons, and you guys seemed to like it a lot, so I’m probably going to run a second version of this in a few weeks. But without further ado, here are the results:

Name a Planet

Earth, being the place where we all live, was unsurprisingly the most popular answer. The tricky thing about this question is that when thinking about a planet, we usually don’t think of the one right below our feet. Pluto being tied for fourth didn’t surprise me too much because of people who wanted to make a point. I’m kinda surprised Venus was so far down — I figured the closest planet to our own would have been a more popular choice.

Name a language other than English that you can speak at least a few words of

I suspect it’s no surprise to anyone that Spanish would be the most popular answer, but what I was curious about would be whether people would answer with that even if they couldn’t speak the language at all. It seems that most people did get the idea that technically answering the question incorrectly is still the best move, since all that matters is how many people choose that answer.

Name a class from Dungeons & Dragons

For those curious, the classes in the current edition of Dungeons & Dragons (excluding supplemental material) are Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. Mage and Thief were classes in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, though they have evolved to become Wizards and Rogues, respectively, and their names have been repurposed for other uses in D&D. Wizard being #1 was expected, but Bard (my personal favorite class) at #2 was pleasantly surprising.

Enter one word

The phrasing of this one was intentional to try to lead people to either choose “one” (which only two people did), “word”, or to be cheeky and literally enter “one word”. It’s interesting to note that “the” got a solid 3rd place, while no other words were chosen more than twice.

Pick a month that is not April

Unsurprisingly, the month after April got the most votes. Despite being explicitly mentioned as a month that should not be chosen, three people still entered in April. Of those three, two of them also put in “one word” for the previous prompt, so I guess the two of them are the rebellious type. Apologies to February, August, and November for not getting any responses.

What is the best movie released in 2019?

The top answer was the Best Picture winner, followed by the highest-grossing film of all time. I’m not sure what’s worse — that five people couldn’t name a movie that was released last year, or that three put down Cats. One person entered “The new marvel film”, which in this case would most accurately refer to Spider-Man: Far from Home, even if that’s technically not what they were going for. Everyone who did enter a movie did mange to name one that was released in 2019.

Name a Shakespeare Play

There’s a lot less variety here than I had initially expected. Of the 67 people who named a play, 61 chose a tragedy, 5 a comedy, and only one a history.

Name a board game

In retrospect, I really should have told people to name a board game that isn’t Monopoly. Next time, maybe. What I was interested in was how many people would say Othello for the past two questions, since it’s a valid answer for the both of them. Turns out only two chose it for the Shakespeare play, and none for the board game.

Name a politician who was never a head of state

This entry had the most unique answers with 30. Forty-eight of you picked people who have been politically relevant over the past several years. Two people declined to answer while another six picked someone who was a head of state (presidents are heads of state but governors are not). Everyone represented here is American except for Laura Roslin, who is the President of the Twelve Colonies in Battlestar Galactica.

Name a type of bird

This one also had a lot of variety, with 24 different answers and 6 being selected by at least 6 people. If bald eagles were counted with eagles, they would form the most popular answer, but the former is only one of around 60 species of eagle. I’ll give props to the person who said “birb”, even if it netted them only one point.

The Scores

There are two ways I’d like to present the final scores. The first one, and the “official” one, is to simply add up the points from all 10 questions. The alternate method I want to put forward is one where we add up the logarithms of the scores for each question instead. This version doesn’t penalise people for missing only one really popular answer and rewards consistently getting at least decent scores, but it does make the calculation a bit more complicated. Let me know which calculation you prefer.

Congratulations to Asher (Earth, Spanish, Wizard, Word, May, Parasite, Romeo and Juliet, Monopoly, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Parrot), and Amar (Earth, Spanish, Wizard, Word, May, Parasite, Hamlet, Monopoly, Bernie Sanders, and Crow) for definitively being the top two scorers and for getting perfect scores on 8 out of 10 answers each! I’ve attached a spreadsheet with all the raw answers after this table for those who are interested in more detail.

NameScoreRankSum of LogRank# Most
El Jefe266340.02137
Will D264441.6787
Sam Brochin256839.99147
Alex Damisch255942.9437
Cassie B.2451442.8746
Victor Prieto2441539.78156
Briana Magin2351736.42296
David L2311938.86196
Late to Dinner2302040.32114
Sarah Greenway2192940.02126
Matt Beeken2153134.74355
Jeff Thomas2093337.66234
Not late for dinner1993529.3494
Hugo Starlord1834430.46455
Your Majesty1704529.92463
Laura Handley1594832.13413
Joshua Carter1495226.51542
LJ Donnell876118.17631
Emily Gunter746316.55642

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