In light of the fact that I’m nineteen turning twenty, I will tell a story of me as a child only a decade ago.

When I was nine, I was taken to a carnival where there was a big box of jelly beans and they wanted us to estimate the number of beans there were in there. The closest would get a scooter, the second a RC car, and the third a gift card for Toys-R-Us. Being the precise quantitative kid that I was, I looked at the nutrition facts: 25 beans per serving, 28 grams per serving, 4 pounds total. I did some mental arithmetic and figured out that there must be 65 servings in the whole container, each with 25 beans, giving me a total of 1625.

Turns out there were only 1500 beans in there. I was fourth. Someone guessed 1500 just because it was a round number. Someone else guessed 1600 because he estimated 10 beans in each direction horizontally and 16 vertically. (Very crude estimate). Someone else also guessed a number around 1600 due to a similar type of analysis. Nobody guessed 1625.

I think the jelly bean company is at fault for misadvertising the quantity. Personally, I don’t think the person who organized the contest really counted every bean (maybe his son ate some of it). Even so, I don’t regret my “guess”–it was the best I could make given the circumstances. I want my scooter!