What is an auction and how does it work?
Sep 5, 2023
Season 5 | Episode 1

What is an auction and how does it work?

Our GOAT episode!

It’s a new season of Million Bazillion and in this episode, Ryan and Bridget are answering Hezekiah’s questions about auctions. He wants to know everything about them — what are they, how do they work, and what’s up with those paddles and the fast talkin’? Ryan and Bridget head to their very first auction to find out. But the pair get caught up in the excitement and end up accidentally buying the very first Million Bazillion mascot. They’ll use the help and experience of their new friend, a real-life 16-year-old auctioneer, to navigate the auction and steer out of trouble.

Tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

Keep the conversation going. Listen to the episode, then try some of these Money Talks prompts with your kid(s) at home:

  1. Would you rather buy something at auction or in a store where the price is set? Why?
  2. Have you ever felt pressured to make a money decision and then made a choice you regretted, like when Bridget and Ryan got caught up in the auction and bought the goat?
  3. Bonus Not So Random Question: If the tooth fairy retired, who should take their job?

Tip Jar

If you and your kids want to learn more about auctions, here’s some extra material you might find helpful.

  • Learn more about the words and vocabulary used in auctions with the Sotheby’s glossary.
  • Bridget and Ryan learned about the different types of auctions, but there’s a whole world of auctions out there. Take a look at this list to explore some other types of auctions.
  • Activity: Consider going to an auction or track the price of an item over time via an online auction like eBay.

Gimme 5

Thanks for listening to this episode! Do your kids have a suggestion for a Not So Random Question they want to hear some random kids answer? Send it to us using this online form.

This episode is sponsored by Greenlight. (For a limited time, get $10 when you sign up for a Greenlight account at greenlight.com/MILLION).

Million Bazillion: S5 E1 Auctions Script/Transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Scripts may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.


Cold Open:




RYAN: Are we almost done?


BRIDGET: Almost. We’ve got an entirely new season ahead of us! So we just need to look through a few more listener questions and pick which ones to answer.




RYAN: How did we end up with so many bags full of questions? Owww, papercut!


BRIDGET: Well, our listeners send in so many great questions, and after a while, they start to pile up. But I LOVE reading these and, and we look at each and every one- Oww papercut!


RYAN: Oooo, this is a good one. “What is bankruptcy?” Owww, papercut!


BRIDGET: Here’s a good one. “What is rental arbitrage”- ow papercut!




RYAN: Ow, papercut!


BRIDGET: Ow, papercut!


RYAN: Ow, papercut!


BRIDGET: Ow, papercut!


RYAN: Ow, PAPERCUT! That one really hurt!


BRIDGET: WAIT! Wait one second! No sudden moves! We need to open these envelopes slowly and carefully to avoid any further papercuts.


RYAN: (whispers) Ok, I’m gonna open this question slow and steady….


BRIDGET: Yes, veeeerrrry slowly.. OW, PAPERCUT!






–Theme Music–


BRIDGET Welcome back to Million Bazillion. I’m Bridget.


RYAN:: I’m Ryan. And We Help Dollars Make More Sense.


BRIDGET: Hey I got an idea, instead of opening another envelope, let’s take a question submitted via email.


RYAN: Good idea. And while you do that, I’m gonna throw out all the paper in this house so we don’t get more papercuts!




BRIDGET: Hey, those are my old National Geographic magazines! My grandma gave me those!


RYAN: Sorry, if it can slice, no dice!  If the paper can chop it, you gotta drop it-


BRIDGET: OK, let’s hear the question.




HEZEKIAH Q:  My name is Hezekiah and I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I would like to know about auctions.


[SFX of Auctioneer]


HEZEKIAH Q: How do they work? Can you explain the fast talking and the paddles? What is a silent auction? What is an online auction? Thank you! (:15)


BRIDGET: What a great idea for an episode, Hezekiah. An auction is where people compete with each other to buy something. Whoever offers the highest price or “bid” –  wins! Ryan,  Did you know…there are records of auctions going back to the year 500 B.C.!


RYAN: I wonder why Hezekiah became curious about auctions.


HEZEKIAH 2: After hearing about the Lebron James Triple Logoman card going up for auction, I wanted to learn more about auctions.


BRIDGET: Ooh, yes, the  Panini Flawless Triple Logoman featuring Lebron James! I’ve heard about that!


RYAN: There’s a Lebron James panini sandwich? I wanna eat that sandwich! ALT: Lebron James is making Paninis now?! Is there anything he can’t do?!


BRIDGET:  No, the Panini Flawless Triple Logoman featuring Lebron James. Logoman cards are like baseball cards, but for basketball players.No one used to care about basketball cards but then this Panini company decided to start making a few really fancy ones and people wanted them again! And the one Hezekiah is interested in is being sold at auction today.


RYAN: I have an idea! Let’s go to that auction and buy that card!


BRIDGET: That’s a great idea! We can go to an auction, learn all about how they work up close and personal, and maybe, just maybe, place the winning bid on that card!


RYAN: But Bridget, it’s a good idea!


BRIDGET: Yes, I’m agreeing with you. Let’s go!


RYAN: Oh, wow… ok, I’m not used to you agreeing with me. Ok, carry on.






BRIDGET: Ok, here we are at the auction, lot of people here today.


CARD AUCTIONEER: Up next, lot 72. The Panini Flawless Triple Logoman card featuring Lebron James. Where shall we start the bidding?


RYAN: (WHISPERING) Watch this… (LOUDLY) Ahem, I bid… five dollars!


CARD AUCTIONEER: Uhhhh. Thank you, sir, but we will start the bidding at five HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars.  Do I hear five hundred thousand dollars or above?


BIDDER #1: One million dollars..


CARD AUCTIONEER: One million dollars. I hear one million dollars. Do I hear one-point-five?


BIDDER #2: One point five!


CARD AUCTIONEER: I hear one-point five million dollars! Does anyone want to challenge this bid?


BIDDER #1: One-point-seven million.


CARD AUCTIONEER: One-point seven million. One million, seven-hundred thousand dollars, do I hear one-point-eight?




RYAN: (WHISPERING) Ok, flag on the play, this basketball card is a bit more expensive than I expected.


BRIDGET: Yeah, I think a lot of people besides Hezekiah are interested in this card and they’ve got more money than us…I think the phrase is  “deeper pockets.”




RYAN:, I got 37, no 39 cents in my fanny pack. We’re gettin’ there, gettin’ there. I bet you there’s more change in my couch cushions. Do you think they’d pause the auction so I can go home and check?


BRIDGET: I don’t know. But when we come back, we’ll find out the first part of Hezekiah’s question…how does an auction work? Right after this.

-Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions-

ANNOUNCER: And now it’s time for Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions. Today’s question is: If the Tooth Fairy retired, who should take over their job?

RANDOM KIDS: “A Tooth Fairy in training.” “Maybe one of the Tooth Fairy’s friends should take over the job.” “The old woman in the shoe and all her children, but when they’re older.” “I think if my snake could fly, he should take over.” “Santa or the Easter Bunny because they kind of have some magic on their side.” “The kids, then we get all the money.” “I don’t think the humans would know how to do it, but the Tooth Fairy’s friend knows what the Tooth Fairy does.” “Maybe we can just keep our teeth.”

ANNOUNCER: That was Esther in Atlanta, Benjamin in Austin, Ava and Sebastian in Minnesota, and Joshua, Emory, and Corally in California. This has been Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions.

Part 1:




BRIDGET: (WHISPERS) Welcome back to Million Bazillion. Today, we’re learning about auctions to help answer Hezekiah’s many questions. Right now we’re at an auction for a very rare basketball card.




CARD AUCTIONEER: And sold for $2.4 million dollars. Congratulations, lucky bidder, you are now the owner of the Panini Flawless Triple Logoman Lebron James basketball card!


CARD BUYER: Haha, yes! The card is mine!




RYAN: Dang it! $2.4 million. We were just $2 million 3 hundred and 99 thousand, 500 dollars short!


BRIDGET: Yeah, turns out we only have $500 hundred dollars in the Million Bazillion bank account and it turns out you need a lot more at a multi million dollar auction. Sorry Hezekiah! We’ll try again next time.


RYAN: And maybe that next time is now? Let’s check out some of these other tents, maybe they’re auctioning off something we actually can afford.




BRIDGET: Wow, looks like over here, they’re auctioning off classic cars.




BRIDGET: And over here, they’re auctioning houses! And look over here!




BRIDGET: They’re auctioning off livestock and animals. Maybe we’ll find like a nice small, reasonably priced chicken?


RYAN: Bridget, I’m not liking this auction set up. Why don’t they just tell you at the beginning how much something is going to go for?


BRIDGET:  I don’t know! Maybe someone working at one of these other auctions can tell us?


RYAN: Well I think it’s a racket. They could at least have a sign posted when I walk in that says “Sir, you are NOT going to be able to afford this panini card, keep walking.”


SHAYLEE:  Is this your first auction?


RYAN: Oh, is it that obvious?


SHAYLEE: Well, kinda.


BRIDGET: We’re looking for someone who can tell us all about auctions. Do you know much about them, since you’re here?


SHAYLEE: I’m Shaylee and I am 16 and I have my auctioneer’s license. I can tell you everything you need to know.


GOAT AUCTIONEER (COUNTRY STYLE): Step right up! Don’t be shy, folks! This is a good ol’ fashioned livestock auction–


BRIDGET: Amazing! This is so exciting, we get a real expert to answer our questions!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: –And up next is lot number 56. We’re auctioning off this here beautiful goat. He eats just about everything in tarnation because he’s a goat, but he’s a sweet animal and the opening bid to purchase this goat starts at $100 US dollars!




RYAN: What’s an opening bid?


SHAYLEE (PICKUP): An opening bid is set by the auctioneer. Now the auctioneer usually sets this low so the bidders get excited and start to participate more.


BRIDGET: Okay, that makes sense, it’s the first bid to start or “open” the auction.


GOAT AUCTIONEER (FAST): I hear 100 dollars! Do I one-twenty-five? One twenty-five to the lady with the beehive hairdo!. Do I hear one thirty-five? One thirty-five to the man in the ten-gallon hat! Do I hear one-fifty! One fifty! Do I hear one-fifty five?


RYAN: Why do the auctioneers talk fast like that?


SHAYLEE:  In the business, it’s called a chant. So it gets the auction rolling, it creates an experience for the buyer. So it’s just to get things in and out, like selling it fast.


GOAT AUCTIONEER: One-fifty-five! One-fifty-five!


BRIDGET: Do you know how to do the chant?




RYAN: Can you do it for us?


SHAYLEE: Okay, so we’re going to start the bidding off at five dollars, five dollars now ten. Ten dollars, now we’re gonna go fifteen, fifteen. So something like that.


RYAN: That was great, Shaylee!


SHAYLEE:Yeah, it’s kinda like a basic chant.


BRIDGET: It really was! And I see how it really creates this excitement and anticipation! But even with all that excitement…why doesn’t a seller just set the price they want for something and wait until someone is willing to pay that?


SHAYLEE: Well it’s an experience and people definitely like, they’ll be engaged and they’re more likely to raise their hand and it gives the item a better shot of getting a higher price.


RYAN: I get that! And I feel the excitement in this room. The buyers are all getting excited and trying to out bid each other.  It’s the feverish fun of buying something, taking over!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Do I hear one-sixty!?


RYAN: One sixty!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: One sixty to the man with the bald spot!


BRIDGET: Ryan! Why did you bid on the goat?


RYAN: The pressure of all the fast-talk chanting worked on me! (TO AUCTIONEER) And by the way, this isn’t a bald spot, it’s cowlick, sir!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Do I hear one-seventy! One seventy for this goat? One sixty going once! One sixty going twice!


BRIDGET: One seventy!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: One hundred and seventy dollars to the young woman with stunning red hair!


RYAN: Bridget!


BRIDGET: What?! I got caught up in the excitement too! I’m not made of wood!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: One-seventy going once! One-seventy going twice!


RYAN: Wait, hold on. What does “going once, going twice” mean?


SHAYLEE: Going once, going twice, I like to think about it as a warning to the buyers, like saying hey, just to throw it out there, the biddings ending soon so think about it quickly if you want to bid or not. We don’t say it every lot because it gets pretty repetitive and it slows down the auction but if you can tell someone’s just about to bid, then we’ll throw it in there.


RYAN: Oh, in that case, two-hundred dollars!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Two hundred dollars to bald spot man!


RYAN: Not a bald spot, thank you!


BRIDGET: Three hundred dollars!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Three hundred dollars to the red head! Do I hear four?


RYAN: Four hundred dollars!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Baldy bouncing back with four hundred! Do I hear five hundred dollars?


BRIDGET: I’m getting this goat! We’ve needed  a mascot! It’s an investment! Five hundred dollars!


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Five hundred dollars! Do I hear six? Five hundred dollars going once, five hundred going twice. And sold (SFX: GAVEL BANG) to the red-headed young lady!






BRIDGET (GIDDY): We won! I can’t believe it! We bought a goat!!


RYAN: (GIDDY) That was the thrill of a lifetime! And for only $500 dollars! I want to buy another animal! I want to buy a whole zoo! I want to be able to say, We Bought a Zoo!


BRIDGET: Can you imagine! A Million Bazillion Zoo –  we can make t-shirts GASP! Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no.  Ryan. Do you realize what we’ve done? $500 is all our money!! We can’t buy this goat! It’ll destroy our budget for the rest of the season!  Also, I don’t want a goat! I wanted a nice cute chicken! What are we gonna do with a goat? (TO AUCTIONEER) Excuse me, excuse me Mr. Auctioneer, sir? Turns out we got a little carried away and we don’t really need this goat, we are going to need to return it.


GOAT AUCTIONEER: Sorry, ma’am, all sales are final.


BRIDGET: Shaylee, why won’t they take the goat back??


SHAYLEE: So most auctions have under their contract all sales final. Basically if people see it in the next auction or the same sale, they’re going to think something’s wrong with it.


BRIDGET: Oh. So it’s like a no take backsies kinda situation, so we’re stuck with the goat? Man, it’s really cool you know so much about this. How’d you end up getting an auctioneer’s license anyway?


SHAYLEE: So my mom is an estate auctioneer. So we’ve been doing that for a while. And it’s just like, I want to do that, I want to talk fast. ‘Cause like, personally, not a lot of kids can say they’re doing it. And it’s a job that’s definitely falling off that I think we should bring back more. So I decided to go to auctioneer school just to kind of bring that experience back to life.


BRIDGET: That is really cool!  Thanks for all your help!


SHAYLEE: Congrats on the goat, guys. I’ll see you later.


RYAN: (QUICK, OVERLAPPING) So it’s just up to us to figure out this goat problem then?




RYAN:  Well, we should probably name the goat. Something suave and elegant. What do you think of the name, “Armand”?


BRIDGET: Hey, I got an idea! We can resell this goat-


RYAN: You mean Armand.


BRIDGET: Yes, Armand. We can resell Armand… at auction…a different auction! And hopefully recoup some of our $500! Heck, if we find the right auction with the right crowd, we might even end up making MORE money!


RYAN: Bridget, that’s a brilliant idea!


CARD BUYER: Excuse me, have either of you seen my Triple Logoman Card I just bought for $2.4 million dollars? I put it down for one second and now I can’t find it!


RYAN: Oh no, sorry, pal. Haven’t seen it.


BRIDGET: Neither have I. Have you retraced your steps?


CARD BUYER: Of course I’ve retraced my steps!


BRIDGET: Have you asked if there’s any security camera footage you can look at?


CARD BUYER: Hmm good idea. I’ll ask around. Thanks. I simply must get back my multi-million dollar Panini Card!


RYAN: Ok, good luck with that, buddy. (TO BRIDGET) Too bad for that guy.. Welp, easy come, easy go. Armand, stop eating my shoe laces! Anyway, I like our plan, we’re gonna resell this goat at auction… when we come back!




–mini seg–




Part 2:


BRIDGET: Ok, welcome back to Million Bazillion. Just to catch you up to speed, Ryan and I are learning all about auctions today thanks to a question from Hezekiah in North Carolina. And long story short, we got a little swept up in the excitement of bidding and spent our entire bank account on one single goat.




RYAN: Don’t eat that, Armand! Stop! That’s my cell phone!




BRIDGET… and we’re currently looking for another auction where we can sell the goat to some other highest bidder.




RYAN: Bridget, look at this ad in the newspaper! There’s an auction going on later today at some auction place called “Sotheby’s.” We should take Armand the goat down there, and together we can jack up the excitement in the room so everyone will want to compete to have the highest bids and be the winner !


BRIDGET: Are we sure this is the right crowd for a goat?


RYAN: Puh-lease, Bridget. Armand is beloved by all, how could we go wrong? Armand, stop eating that newspaper!


BRIDGET: Okay, let’s go!








SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: (SNOOTY) Ahem, may I help you?


MOVE TO: RYAN: Who here wants to buy this here goat?




SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER (BRITISH): Ahem, sir. This is Sotheby’s. We’re known for auctioning off the VERY best of fine art and jewelry. Our customers expect the best! If you have a lot to sell, you’ll have to wait your turn.


RYAN: Oh, ok. Sorry.


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Ok where was I? The stunning painting by modernist artist Marc Chagall, “Bouquet au pot ou Le bouquet de feuilles” The current bid is $100,000. Do I hear one-hundred and 10?




RYAN: What’s going on? This place isn’t fun like that other auction. It’s kind of snooty and stuffy in here. And they aren’t auctioning off goats, they’re auctioning off Le bouquet de fuplaplapla.


BRIDGET: Well, I guess there are different types of auctions maybe? Some are loud and fast-paced and sell barnyard animals. And I guess these quiet ones sell expensive stuff like art or jewelry.


RYAN: So there’s loud auctions and quiet auctions. Hey, is a quiet auction the same thing as a silent auction? How do those work? Does everybody bid through charades?


PHONE BIDDER: $135,000! (SHUSHES, SNOOTY) Keep your voice down, we’re all trying to keep up with the breakneck speed of this rowdy auction.




RYAN: Armand! Stop eating that…wooden paddle?


PHONE BIDDER: Ughh, get away from me! Leave my paddle alone!


BRIDGET: What’s up with the wooden paddles everyone’s waving around? Is the air conditioning broken?


PHONE BIDDER:: (EXASPERATED SIGH) They all have numbers on them see? People raise their paddle to make a bid. And the auctioneer can use the paddle number to confirm who’s bidding and who won. Now please be quiet, and keep that goat away from me, he just nipped at me!


BRIDGET: I’m so sorry!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: 150 thousand dollars! Do I hear 160?




PHONE BIDDER: (INTO PHONE) Uhm hmm, yes. Yes, ma’am. (LOUD, TO AUCTIONEER) 160!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: 160 from our telephone bidder! Do I hear 165?


RYAN: Who’s on the phone? Who are you talking to?


PHONE BIDDER: A wealthy bidder. I’m taking their instructions by phone.


RYAN: Why would someone bid over the phone? I thought auctions were all about fun and excitement.Don’t the bidders want to be in the room where the action is?


PHONE BIDDER: This auction house wants to let as many people as possible send in bids. More people means more competition.  More competition means higher prices! s. That’s why people love doing auctions online, anyone in the world can place a bid.








RYAN: Armand! No! Let go of that telephone! Let it go! Let it go!


PHONE BIDDER: You beast!




SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: And sold (SFX: GAVEL BANG) for $171,000 dollars to the lady in the frilly, fancy hat!




PHONE BIDDER: Ugh, I lost that auction because I was distracted by you two!


RYAN: Sorry! Ok, we’re up, we gotta get this crowd pumped for Armand! I’ve prepared a little song. It’s sorta up tempo country, I actually wrote it thinking this was gonna be like a cattle auction- but too late to turn back now!


BRIDGET: What? We didn’t discuss you performing a song!


RYAN: Don’t worry, grab this guitar and follow along!


BRIDGET: But I can barely play guitar! I know, like, one chord.




RYAN: That’s good enough! The song is in G minor. Just watch me for the changes!






RYAN: Hey everybody! I’m Ryan and this is my goat Armand! He’s up for auction and I’ve prepared a little song to get you excited!






You can spend your dough on ten or so fancy diamond rings

Or a guitar or a sitar with plucky golden strings

You can bid to win for yourself and kin a castle with a moat

But why not try to up and buy this great here billy goat


He’s a real fine kid, so place your bid and you better not bid low

Wave your paddle like a baby’s rattle to make your goat bid grow

Won’t you corral this barnyard pal with the bid that is the highest?

He’s the goat to beat with the sweetest bleat, but admittedly I’m biased


Now grab your checkbook by the slip as I offer you this bidding tip

Bid big, bid loud, this goat cannot be cowed

He’s going once, he’s going twice, don’t you wanna own a goat so nice


Don’t let the pound of the gavel quickly unravel your billy goat-owning dreams

Fortune favors the bold like kings of old, place your bid in the extremes

Now, should we start the bidding- and I’m not kidding- on an seven figure note




Now, that you’ve heard him, don’t you wanna herd him, Armand the billy goat!




RYAN: Yeesh, tough crowd. Ok, maybe the song was a bad idea. Since everyone knows I’m the one selling the goat, you’re gonna have to drive up the price of the goat, Bridget. It’s the only way. No matter what anyone bids, you bid a little more.


BRIDGET: But that’s risky, Ryan! What if nobody bids more than I do, and I end up being the highest bidder and get stuck spending even more money on this goat!!?


RYAN: Good point. I guess just try to outbid all but ONE bidder- the HIGHEST bidder, so you don’t win the goat. Good luck guessing who that is!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: (TAKEN ABACK) Ok, up next lot 25. A healthy billy goat.


RYAN: Named Armand.


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Named Armand. Uh, that’s it. Can we start the bidding at, uh, I don’t know. 40 dollars? How much does a goat cost?


RYAN: Forty dollars?!? That’s outrageous! For this meteor among men of a goat!


BRIDGET: Forty dollars!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Forty dollars to the very eager young woman. Do I hear forty-five?




BIDDER COMPANION: Harold! What will you ever do with a goat?

RANDOM BIDDER #1: Our home is frightfully quiet. I could use a friend.


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Forty-five dollars from the fancy gentleman. Do I hear 50?


BRIDGET: 50 dollars.


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: 50 dollars. Do I hear 55?


RANDOM BIDDER #2:  55 dollars.


RYAN: It’s working, Bridget. Time to make a big move!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: 60 dollars. Do I hear 60?


BRIDGET: Uhhh, $600 dollars!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Wow. A six hundred dollar bid from the very eager woman. Do I hear six hundred fifty? (PAUSE) No? No other bids for this goat?


BRIDGET: Oh no! My worst fear! I drove the price up too high. And what am I doing? We don’t have this money, we shouldn’t be bidding more than we can afford!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: $600 dollars going once, $600 going twice-




CARD BUYER: Hey, everybody! Stop the auction! That goat ate my Panini Flawless Triple Logoman Lebron James basketball card!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Excuse me, sir. Who are you?


CARD BUYER: I bought a basketball card for $2.5 million in an auction this morning and that goat ate it! I just saw the security camera footage of it happening! There’s a $2.5 million dollar basketball card in its protective plastic covering, inside the belly of that goat right now! And sometime within the next 24 hours, that goat is gonna have to go, well, y’know, and the card will come out.


RYAN: Armand is gonna poop out the card?


CARD BUYER: Yeah. I was trying to avoid saying the word “poop.” But that’s what’s gonna happen.


RANDOM BIDDER #1: I bid one million dollars!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: One million dollars for Armand the goat? Do I hear one-point-one?




PHONE BIDDER:(INTO PHONE) Yes, ma’am. (LOUD, TO AUCTIONEER) : One-point-one!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: One-point-one! Do I hear one-point-two?




RYAN: It’s working! The price is going way up because everyone wants the basketball card when Armand poops it out!


BRIDGET: I knew Armand was a special goat!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: $1.9 million! Do I hear 2 million?


RANDOM BIDDER #1: 2 million dollars!


RYAN: Hey, I got an idea. Why don’t we place just one more bid on Armand?


BRIDGET: Ryan! No! There’s no way we can pay for him even if we win him.


RYAN: Two-point-one million dollars!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Two-point-one million dollars from bald spot man! Do I hear two-point-two?


BRIDGET: Two point two! Now, stop it, that’s enough!


RYAN: Two point three!


BRIDGET: Two point four!


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Two point four million dollars. Do I hear two point five? Two point four going once, two point four going twice…


CARD BUYER: Two point five million and  five hundred dollars! Now please,  no more bids.


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Would anyone like to place a higher bid? Going once, going twice, sold– (SFX: GAVEL) to the man who interrupted the auction and drove up the price of this goat. We’ll return right after this break!





Ajay: Hi I’m Ajay from Lawrence, Kansas with some money history trivia. Did you know that the largest bill ever printed was $100,000? The $100,000 bill was created in 1934. It was just for making official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and never given out for public use.


Part 3:


BRIDGET: Welcome back to Million Bazillion.


RYAN: Well, bad news, after sorting through all the particulars, turns out we don’t get to keep the $2.5 million for selling the goat because, technically, Armand was carrying around stolen property. So the card and the money goes back to the original buyer.  At least the guy who bought the card agreed to pay us $500 for Armand. because, he is, after all, a really great goat. .

PHONE BIDDER: (STIFF, UNEXCITED) Congratulations you too. Made for quite an exciting auction. I can’t remember ever being so excited.


BRIDGET: Really? I guess it was a fun adventure, and we did learn a ton about how auctions work, didn’t we?


RYAN: Yeah, would’ve been nice to learn a lot and  also get two-and-a-half million dollars.

BRIDGET: Well I say that’s up to Hezekiah! And now we know: auctions are a style of buying and selling things and they’ve been around for centuries. Auctions bring together as many people as possible who all want to buy the same thing. Then they compete to be the winner. And by the way, there are a ton of different styles of auctions. We’re going to have more of those at the showpage for this episode, on our website, marketplace dot org slash million.


RYAN: OK, well, bye for now, Armand.




BRIDGET: We promise we’ll send you letters… if you promise not to eat them. But who are we kidding, you probably will, ya rascal!


RYAN (CHOKING UP) Sorry we can’t stick around to watch you poop out a two-and-a-half million dollar basketball card.




RYAN: That’s right. So many cool poops we’ll never get to see you take, little buddy. Small poops, big poops, poops filled with gold and fancy jewels… You can learn a lot about a goat from its poop-




SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONEER: Ladies and gentleman, up next for auction is a complete collection of early National Geographic issues miraculously found in a dumpster earlier this morning. Each issue is appraised at over $5000 dollars, so we’ll start bidding for this hundred volume collection at… $500,000 dollars. Do I hear $500,000?




BRIDGET: Ugh, Ryan!


RYAN: What?


BRIDGET: I told you we should have kept those!




–Theme Music-

RYAN: Thanks for listening to this episode of Million Bazillion! If you have a question you want answered, you can send it to us at our website, marketplace dot org slash million.

BRIDGET: While you’re at our website, you can sign up for our email newsletter. We’ll send you a note every time we have new episode. Like the one we’re sharing next week, all about recessions!

RYAN: But for this episode, all about auctions, we want to give a big thank you to Donda Cordova and Shaylee for telling us everything they know. True professionals. Million Bazillion is brought to you by Marketplace, from American Public Media. This episode was written and hosted by (me,) Ryan Perez. Bridget Bodnar is my co-host and the director of podcasts at Marketplace.

BRIDGET: And we heard the voicing talents of: Sabri Ben Achour, Kimberly Adams, Courtney Bergsieker, Francesca Levy, Drew Jostad, Chris Julin, Bekah Wineman, Catherine Winter

RYAN: Jasmine Romero is our editor. Courtney Bergsieker is our producer. Nilou Shahbandi is our digital producer.  Our sound designer is Chris Julin.  Bekah Wineman mixed this episode. Our theme music was created by Wonderly. And the music for Armand the Billy Goat was composed and performed by Andrew Shaver. Francesca Levy is the Executive Director of Digital at Marketplace. Neal Scarbrough is the VP and General Manager.

BRIDGET: Million Bazillion is funded in part by the Sy Syms Foundation, partnering with organizations and people working for a better and more just future since 1985. And special thanks to The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance for providing the start-up funding for this podcast, and continuing to support Marketplace in our work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy.

RYAN: If Million Bazillion is helping your family have important conversations about money, consider making a one-time donation today at marketplace-dot-org-slash-givemillion, and thanks for your support.

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