La Satira News Service
The latest installment of VBC’s hit reality TV show The Actuary saw contestant Norm Wilder eliminated following a devastating miscalculation in the present value of his company’s asset portfolio.
“It was a simple enough mistake,” said Wilder in an interview following his expulsion from the show. “I reached a mistaken assumption of the value of the currency swap and amortized it over the duration of the municipal bonds I acquired last week. I can’t believe I fell into such an elementary trap.”
Mr. Wilder’s fate was ultimately sealed by this week’s surprise twist: the simulated explosion of a meteorite over Minneapolis. “I think their little stress test shook all of our holdings to their foundations,” said fellow contestant Minnie Holder. “This was definitely the wrong week to mess up.”
Asked what he would have to do to make it to the final episode, contestant Max Moneysworth said, “I’ll definitely have to step up my game. I’ll have to take it to the next level, kick it up a notch, bring my ‘A’ game…. I may even have to come up with a new cliche.”
The season started with twenty contestants using their analytical skills to compete for a million dollar prize. The contestants’ performance each week is reviewed by a panel of math professors and assigned points for accuracy and meeting value targets for a particular time-frame. The contestant with the lowest number of points is eliminated.
So far five contestants have been eliminated, while eight others have dropped out after calculating that the value of the prize was not sufficient to balance the risk of not winning and the humiliation and potential career impacts of continuing.
Despite a cult-like following within a narrow market segment and the appearance of two past winners of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics earlier in the season, overall ratings for the show have remained stagnant. Sources within VBC have pooh-poohed the possibility that the network might drop the show mid-season. “We have great faith in our choice of programming,” said network president Morris Catesby. “Besides, our actuaries have worked out that we’ll still come out ahead by keeping it, as long as interest rates remain low, we don’t get a frost in August, and demand for Twinkies exceeds analyst expectations for the next three quarters.”