Walkabout Joker Draw Odds for Friday, February 24, 2012

The Walkabout Joker Draw is now in Week 40. Friday night’s possible jackpot will be $7,924.

There are 14 face down cards remaining. One of those cards is the jackpot-winning Joker. Two of those cards are Aces that win a moto.

Recent ticket sales data is as follows:

Week Thirty Seven – 694 tickets sold
Week Thirty Eight – 822 (+128 increase from prior week)
Week Thirty Nine – 982 (+160)

I estimate that Friday night there will be 1,195 tickets sold and placed in the Walkabout drum (a +213 ticket increase from last week). Maybe fewer if it rains. Maybe more if that crap band is playing over at Black Cat.

This means that the odds of a patron winning the $7,924 jackpot with a single $1 ticket on Friday will be approximately 1 in 16,730 (i.e., 1/1,195 x 1/14 = 1/16,730). The “expected return” on each $1 ticket purchased, factoring in the value of the two Aces remaining, will be roughly 57 cents.

If you read my article last week, you may notice that this week’s odds of winning and expected return are worse than last week’s. Even though this week’s jackpot is higher, entering the drawing this week will undoubtedly be a suckier gambling proposition than it was last week.

You may be asking “Why have the odds of winning and expected return gotten worse, if there are now fewer face down cards remaining and a higher jackpot?” Here is why. As the jackpot has risen over $6,000, ticket sales have rapidly and irrationally increased, while the chances of someone pulling the Joker have only marginally improved.

Three weeks ago, the bar sold 694 tickets, with the lucky ticket holder having a 1 in 17 (5.9%) chance of turning over the Joker and winning the $6,675 jackpot. This week, the bar will sell about 72% more tickets than it did three weeks ago, making the chances of having your own ticket called much, much lower.

Meanwhile, this week’s lucky ticket holder will have only a slightly better 1 in 14 (7.1%) chance of turning over the Joker. Also, though there will be far more tickets in the drum this week than there were three weeks ago, the jackpot will be only 19% higher ($7,924 this week vs. $6,675 three weeks ago).

For all of these reasons, I can’t recommend wasting your precious beer or hooker money on Walkabout Joker Draw tickets this week. But if you want to hang out in the bar and try the “Deal or No Deal” gambit when someone else’s ticket number is called, go ahead and offer that lucky bastard up to $600 for the called ticket.

The actual “value” of the called ticket will be $680, as it gives the holder a 7.1% chance of drawing the $7,924 Joker (an opportunity worth $566) plus a 14.3% chance of drawing one of the two Aces (an opportunity worth $114 if each moto is valued at $800). Just try not to get punched if you win.

Good luck!


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