I’m putting this here rather than IMHO because I think it’s a more sporty/gamey thing.
At a trivia contest last night, the sponsors tried to squeeze a few extra bucks by selling “mulligans.” For $10 you could have a wrong answer (with a limit of four) erased and be given a point. Our table declined to buy any.
We ended up finishing third – 5 points behind the winner, 2 behind second place. If we had bought the maximum four points, we would have finished second. The difference between the 2nd and 3rd place prizes were well worth spending the money to buy the points.
The question is: if you were fairly confident of your own skill, but didn’t know your opponents’, would you pay to buy a competitive advantage? Figure the advantage anyway you want – a higher handicap in golf, a five-yard head start in a foot race, a pawn or two advantage in a chess match, etc.
Would your answer change if
a) Your opponents announced in advance they would buy the advantage
b) Your opponents announced in advance they would NOT buy
c) Some say they would buy, others insist they wouldn’t, and you didn’t know how good either group would be
d) The cost of the advantage wouldn’t cover a higher level award (in other words, you’d be paying only for bragging rights)
For what it’s worth, when the team realized that if we had bought the points we would have finished higher and gotten a better prizes
Half of us said it would have injected too much competitiveness into what was supposed to be a friendly evening for a good cause, the other half wished we had paid up.