[ExI] alternative gambling game, plus epsilon

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Wed Jun 30 19:19:32 UTC 2010

Wouldn't rejection of duplicates allow someone to - with enough patience -
build up a set of 1000 uniquely-numbered tickets anyway?

Although, if one could only buy one ticket at a time, making the process
of getting 1000 tickets somewhat labor intensive, that would be a
disincentive for 1000-ticket buyers.  Anyone with $1000 to invest, might
have better things to do than spend all day to make a $100 profit.  In
fact, if it literally took a standard 8 hour day to buy 1000 tickets (that is,
can only buy 1 ticket at a time, and it takes an average of 28.8 seconds
to process the order - which might be frustratingly slow for honest
players), that's the equivalent of working for a $25,000 wage (assuming
Monday-Friday, working 50 weeks - 250 days - out of the year).
Granted, that's free from state (but not federal) taxes.

Then again, such a scheme might be useful as a safety net/redistribution
of income for the competent but unemployed, such as in the current
economy.  But, that would invite abuses (paying even less of that for
someone to process orders for you; you provide the capital that gets
invested) and automation ("sure, honest, this terminal is open to the
public and otherwise obeys regulations designed to defeat
automation...at least, it is when any inspectors come around..."), and
of course there's the question of where this money comes from (even
the stupid might not provide all the revenue for such a scheme).

Even just $1000 per payout might be useful toward this end, though.
Those who know a bit about human psychology would know there are
certain numbers that many idiots will always pick regardless - such
as 123 and 111 - and simply assign those a practically 0% chance of
winning.  Said idiots might provide the payout indefinitely.

Now, here this the important point of all this.  There is a phenomenon in this game which might look exactly like psi, but really isn't.  Imagine you play the 1100 version of this game, with a non-cheating random number generator in the ticket sales machine as described above, to defeat the 1000 ticket buyers.  If you ran that game, the number of winners would mysteriously be slightly higher than the numbers I ran last night!  Why?  Becaaaaaauuussseee... (stop reading and think it over first if you wish, otherwise read on...)  because the ticket buyers at the machines would reject any duplications of ticket numbers they already hold or that their pool holds.  The effect wouldn't be large, but over time it would cause the average number of winners to go over 28.7, ja?

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