Walkabout Joker Draw Odds for Friday, March 16, 2012

The Walkabout Joker Draw is now in Week 43. Friday night’s jackpot will be a feckin’ brilliant $9,362.

There are just 11 face down cards remaining. One of those cards is the jackpot-winning Joker. Two of those cards are Aces that win a moto.

The Walkabout sold 968 tickets last week. That’s fewer tickets than they sold back on February 17 when the jackpot was almost 20% lower. I could have included another chart to illustrate this, but it would just show a rather pitiful flatline of ticket revenue over the last month. It seems that the Walkabout, like some of its patrons, is having trouble getting it up.

Is this the week that the bar finally sells more than 1,000 Joker Draw tickets? With a $9,362 jackpot on offer, it certainly should be. Perhaps the St. Patrick’s Day weekend revelry will help to fuel the kind of excitement that the Walkabout needs to get over the 1,000 ticket milestone.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that the bar sells exactly 1,000 tickets Friday night. With 1,000 tickets in the drum, and 11 cards left on the board, the odds of winning the $9,362 jackpot are pretty easy to figure out. A patron who purchases a single ticket will have a 1 in 1,000 chance of getting his or her ticket called, times a 1 in 11 chance of picking the Joker. That’s a 1 in 11,000 chance of winning the $9,362 jackpot.

To put these odds in perspective, the American National Safety Council has calculated that your odds of dying from slipping in a bathtub are also about 1 in 11,000. That’s certainly doable. People slip in bathtubs all the time. So if you have some extra money lying around, it’s entirely up to you whether you spend it on Walkabout tickets or a bathtub grab bar. Both purchases would make equally good sense.

A 1 in 11,000 chance to win $9,362 is a pretty good wagering opportunity, as far as lottery-type drawings are concerned. Your “expected return” from a single $1 ticket would be 9,362/11,000 = 85.1 cents. That would make the house edge about 15%.

But wait, the Walkabout also gives away an $800 moto for each Ace that is drawn. There are still two Aces remaining out of just eleven cards. So a ticket holder would also have a 2/11,000 chance to win $800. To calculate the extra wagering value of these two Aces, you multipIy 2/11,000 times $800 and you get 14.5 cents.

When you add the 14.5 cent value of the Aces to the 85.1 cent value of the chance of winning the jackpot, this means that the overall expected return on the purchase of a $1 Joker Draw ticket this week will be 99.6 cents, assuming 1,000 tickets in the drum. That’s a better wagering proposition than you will find in just about any casino anywhere.

Regardless of the number of tickets sold, we know that the person whose ticket is called will have a 9% (1 in 11) chance of turning over the Joker and winning the $9362 jackpot. That chance is worth $851. He or she will also have an 18 % (2 in 11) chance of winning an $800 moto. That chance is worth $145. This means that simply having the called ticket in your hand will give you an asset that is worth $996. So don’t blow it.


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