There are now just five face down cards remaining. One of those five cards is the jackpot-winning Joker. Another card is an Ace that wins $800.
There was a very interesting post in the discussion forum this week about the Walkabout Joker Draw. Apparently, a tuk tuk driver told a somewhat credible expat that a Walkabout security guard had offered to rig the Joker Draw for $50. Moreover, the tuk tuk driver claimed that after paying the guard $50 his ticket number was actually called, but he failed to turn over the jackpot-winning Joker.
I have no idea whether this story is true. But it does make me question one aspect of the how the drawings are conducted. My recollection is that the Walkabout’s expat manager normally announces that Walkabout’s “head of security” will pull the winning ticket from the drum. As if that conveys an air of legitimacy like having Pricewaterhouse Coopers certify the Academy Award votes.
Involving the “head of security” in the drawing actually makes no sense at all. The security dudes at Walkabout are known to be corrupt and money-grubbing chancers who shake hookers down for kickbacks for the privilege of “working” in the bar. Moreover, if any dude making about $150 a month knows in advance that he’s going to draw the ticket each week for drawings worth up to a hundred times his monthly salary, the thought of how to rig the drawings is probably going to cross his mind. A lot.
Why doesn’t the Walkabout’s expat manager just pull the winning ticket? Or why not line up six barmaids in order behind the bar, roll a die, and then have the die dictate which of the six barmaids pulls the ticket? That way, no one knows who will be pulling the ticket until the moment of the drawing.
At a bare minimum, given that drunken tuk tuk drivers are telling expats that the the Walkabout security dudes are rigging the drawing for $50, the Walkabout’s management should at least make the “head of security” wear a short sleeve shirt and show his empty hands before he reaches into the drum.
Anyway, let’s get to this week’s odds. This week’s $13,877 jackpot is $1,037 more than last week’s jackpot, meaning the bar sold 2,074 tickets last week. Not too far from my 2,050 ticket estimate last week.
This week, I expect that the bar will sell 2,500 tickets. That’s still far less than the roughly 4,000 tickets that the bar sold during Week 49 back in December 2009.
With 2,500 tickets in the drum and just five face down cards remaining, your odds of winning the jackpot with a single $1 ticket will be 1 in 12,500. Spending a dollar to buy a 1 in 12,500 chance to win $13,877 is an excellent wagering opportunity. That’s an 11% edge to the player.
There is also a 1 in 12,500 chance of winning $800 by having your ticket called and then turning over an Ace. With that opportunity, the advantage to the player increases to 17%. So every $1 ticket purchased Friday night will have an actual value of about $1.17 as soon as it is placed in the drum. (13,877/12,500 + 800/12,500 = 1.17).