# [Tutor] Getting the highest numbers from a list

**David L. Lerner
**
dell2100@prodigy.net

*Mon, 27 Aug 2001 14:20:57 -0400*

Is there a simple way to get the _n_ highest numbers from an unordered list?
I have a long list that I randomly generated. I need the five highest
numbers. I have another long list, also randomly generated, from which I
need the _sum_ of the five highest numbers
I know max(start_list) will give me the single highest number in the list
"start_list". How do I get the five highest numbers?
Here's my solution, but it's ugly.
-----------------------------
start_list=[7, 6, 6, 15, 9, 0, 9, 10, 12, 10, 11, 15, 2, 8, 0, 4, 10, 1, 3,
14]
## start_list is the original version of the first list.
high_list=[] ## high_list will be a list of the five highest numbers in
start_list
start_list2=[2, 13, 0, 10, 10, 3, 3, 5, 9, 11, 10, 5, 9, 14, 4, 6, 5, 3, 11,
11, 9]
## start_list2 is the original version of the second list
high_list2=[] ## high_list2 will be a list of the five highest numbers
in start_list2. I only use it to find the last five.
high_sum= 0 ## high_sum will be the sum of the five highest numbers in
start_list2
print 'The first list:', start_list
print 'The second list:', start_list2
start_list.sort()
for r in range (-1,-6,-1):
high_list.append (start_list[r])
high_list.reverse()
start_list2.sort()
for r in range (-1,-6,-1):
high_list2.append (start_list2[r])
high_sum = high_sum + (start_list2[r])
print 'The five highest numbers in the first list:', high_list
print 'The sum of the five highest numbers in the second list:', high_sum
-----------------------------
Thank you
David L. Lerner
dell2100@prodigy.net
Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that
your concept of the problem was wrong.
Eric Steven Raymond