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Man's ingenious tactic to win the 'Golden Balls' game show still has people awestruck 10 years later

In a game where people promise to split, this man promised to steal. The logic behind this will leave anyone floored.

Man's ingenious tactic to win the 'Golden Balls' game show still has people awestruck 10 years later
Cover Image Source: YouTube | spinout3

Prisoner's Dilemma is one of the most popular game theories that can yield the best results if you think in each other's best interests. One such game that uses prisoner's dilemma is "Golden Balls." The rules of the game are pretty simple. There are two players in the game and each of them has two golden balls. One says split and another says steal. If both you and your opponent choose to steal, you both walk away with nothing. If one chooses split and the other chooses steal, the person who chooses steal gets $16,000, while the person who chooses split gets nothing. If both people choose to split, they walk away with $8000 each. Once the rules are announced, you get a chance to negotiate a deal with your opponent and convince them to split so both of you can get the best of the deal. However, most people fall prey to greed or spite and end up losing it all.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro Studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Cottonbro Studio

There are also chances that your opponent might convince you to split but betray you in the end and choose to steal, so you end up with nothing. Or you both might not come to a conclusion and the decision would rest with fate. This man though, decided to foolproof his game by promising his opponent that he was going to steal a hundred percent. If he chooses to split, he promises to give him half of the money or they both walk away with nothing. His opponent, Ibrahim, tried to convince him and tell him that they should just split right now and call it a day, but Nick was unmoved. He said that Ibrahim had his word that he would split the money outside of the show, but right now he was going to steal. Their unedited conversation is said to have lasted for up to 45 minutes. But Nick was not ready to budge and was hell-bent on stealing.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Rdne Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Rdne Stock Project

Eventually, the host announced, "This can go on all night and these people are going to get up for breakfast, Nick chose to split or steal, Ibrahim chose to split or steal, now, please." The reveal though, was totally unexpected. Ibrahim revealed that he had chosen to split, while Nick, who had promised that he would steal, had also chosen to split, leaving both of them with half of the prize each. Later on, Ibrahim revealed that he was planning to steal before coming to the show, but because of Nick's tactic, he was left with the option to ensure that neither of them gets anything or his opponent gets everything and hopefully fulfills his promise.


There were a slew of comments on the video saying that Nick had cracked the code. YouTube user @ollizoop wrote, "Every time this video comes across my feed, I'm impressed at how overwhelmingly this man solved this game. Like, announcing that you will invariably steal while promising to split afterward guarantees that, out of self-preservation, your opponent needs to split in order to have any chance at all of walking away with anything. It's a checkmate, not to your opponent, but to the showrunners. Brilliance." @larsworldh2106 wrote, "Fun fact: this was so well done that the owners of the show decided to stop filming more shows because they 'cracked the code.'"

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