Monday, August 12, 2002

Ask A Stupid Question

Guessing weight, age just a game

By Mike Pulfer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Question: How do amusement parks find the people who work the now-famous midway game Guess Your Age or Weight? Is there a school that manufactures omnipotent soothsayers, or are certain seasonal applicants picked from their scores on Mensa tests to be candidates for this job?

        Also, if documented, what is the going rate of success?

        Answer: “It's a great question,” says David Mandt, spokesman at Paramount's Kings Island. “Unfortunately, the answer isn't as mysterious as you might think.

        “We hire Age & Weight associates the same way we hire employees for all of our games locations. We look for enthusiastic, outgoing people who can make playing the games fun and entertaining. They need to be comfortable talking with our guests and not afraid to interact. There are no additional unique characteristics. Men and women, young and old associates can all be successful in the Age & Weight role.

        “On average, (they) guess correctly 50 percent of the time,” he said. Of course, after guessing for hundreds of guests over time, many are extremely proficient, and you might believe they truly are "omnipotent soothsayers.'...

        “When in doubt, associates typically underestimate age and weight to reduce the likelihood of embarrassing anyone. After all, at the end of the day, it's all about having fun.”

        Answer II: Given the clues we had, the Stupid department guessed that the reader, a man from Landen, is 33 years old and 190 pounds ... because that's what he told us.

If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202; fax: 768-8330; e-mail


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