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Python Python Basics (2015) Letter Game App Random Item

Not Working. Why?

what is the issue with the code

# random_item("Treehouse")
# The randomly selected number is 4.
# The return value would be "h"
import random
def random_item(box): 
    x = random.randint(0,len(box)-1)
    return box.index(x)

2 Answers

28,558 Points

The problem is your use of the index method. index is used to find the index of a particular value in a list. It is not used to retrieve a value. To retrieve the value you can simply use bracket notation like this:

import random
def random_item(box): 
    x = random.randint(0,len(box)-1)
    return box[x]

The index() method in Python is designed to return the first index at which a member is found. This means that, in the way you're using it, you are assigning a random number to x which is then being looked for in the string. This will result in a TypeError, since you cannot implicitly convert an int to a str. Though, ignoring that, if you were to cast the x to string by using str(x) instead, it's worth mentioning that you'll usually receive a ValueError, as you will not find the substring of a random number x within a string "Treehouse" or similar strings. In your case, what the Challenge is actually asking for is the member value, which means you should reference your iterable box and pass in the known index x as it's parameter (i.e. return box[x]).