Mathalicious: Going Once, Going Twice

How much should you bid in an auction?

How much should you bid in an auction? From Sotheby’s to eBay, auctions are a popular way to buy everything from paintings to baby clothes. Of course, the goal of an auction isn’t just to win the item; it’s to pay as little as possible for it.

In this lesson, students create polynomial functions to model the expected value of a given bid and determine the optimal amount someone should bid in any auction.


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Math Topics
Algebra & Pre-Algebra, Data, Graphing & Statistics
High School
9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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