Let’s think about that for a minute. How has the jackpot jumped $638 from $9,362 last week to exactly $10,000 this week? The Walkabout must have sold exactly 1,276 tickets last week, after selling between 918 and 990 tickets during each of the prior four weeks.
Or, alternatively, the Walkabout folks counted up last week’s ticket sales, figured out the bar’s 50% cut, calculated what the new jackpot should be, and then said “Ah, **** it” and just “rounded” the jackpot up or down to an even $10,000.
It’s very difficult to estimate the weekly ticket sales and your chances of winning each week if the bar is “adjusting” the jackpot amounts behind the scenes. Tracking the jackpot changes is the only way to determine how many tickets have supposedly been sold each week.
Let’s say the Walkabout really did sell 1,276 tickets last week, and that the manage to sell 1,300 tickets this week. There are currently ten face down cards remaining, including the winning Joker. That means that buying a single ticket will give you a 1 in 1,300 x 1 in 10 = 1 in 13,000 chance of winning the $10,000 prize.
There are still two Aces remaining as well, and turning over an Ace wins an $800 motorbike. So a punter also has a 2 in 13,000 chance of winning $800. Assuming 1,300 tickets in the drum, the “expected return” on a $1 purchased ticket will be a little over about 89 cents. Not bad.
For schemers who would consider trying to buy the winning ticket from an impoverished hooker or English teacher, it’s easy to calculate that holding that ticket gives you a 1 in 10 chance at $10,000. That chance is worth $1,000. Add in the two 1 in 10 chances to win $800 provided by the two Aces, and that means that the ticket is worth a whopping $1,160. Even though there’s a 70% chance that the ticket holder will turn over a worthless card and go home empty handed.