Random Racer

By: Jeff Clark    Date: Mon, 09 May 2022

I've noticed over the last little while that sometimes people use random number pickers to help them make decisions where they want even odds. There are many 'picker wheel' type random selectors available on the web that people use or some are very simple 'pick a number between 1 and N'. I think it is fairly common for teachers to use these as a fair way to choose a student for some task.

It occurred to me that we could make the process much more fun by spreading out the decision over time. I built a little tool that does a simulated race among the choices where each choice has an equal chance of winning. Emoji's are assigned randomly and there are also a few different race strategies to make the results more interesting. Here is an example run:

After the race is complete you can scroll down to get the complete finishing order. This is useful if you want to give prizes for 2nd place and 3rd place for example. It can also be used to pick some subset group - choose the top 5 finishers for some task.

The movie below shows an example with 100 random runners. There is obvious overlap but towards the end of the race the names of the leading contenders are legible.

Give it a try at Random Racer.