The Walkabout Joker Draw is now in Week 46. Friday night’s jackpot will be an enormous $11,297. There are now just eight face down cards remaining. One of those eight cards is the jackpot-winning Joker.
Last week, nobody won the $10,638 jackpot on offer. The person whose ticket was called did turn over one of the two remaining Aces, winning an $800 moto. The jackpot has now increased by $659 to the current $11,297 level. This means that the bar sold 1,318 tickets last week, after selling 1,276 tickets during each of the prior two weeks.
This Friday, for the first time in more than two years, the Walkabout Joker Draw should actually offer a positive expected return on each ticket purchased. Every $1 Joker Draw ticket purchased this week should actually be “worth” more than $1 as soon as it is placed in the drum. Here is why.
Let’s estimate that the Walkabout sells 1,450 Joker Draw tickets this week. That’s a pretty aggressive estimate, since the bar has averaged only 1,290 tickets sold over the last three weeks. With 1,450 tickets in the drum Friday night and 8 face down cards remaining, a single $1 ticket would give you a 1 in 1,450 x 1 in 8 = 1 in 11,600 chance of winning the $11,297 jackpot.
A 1 in 11,600 chance at winning $11,297 is almost an even money wager. When you divide 11,297 by 11,600, you get .974. If the $11,297 jackpot were the only prize available, each $1 ticket purchased would be worth 97.4 cents.
But remember that there is also one Ace remaining. So each $1 ticket purchased also gives the player a 1 in 11,600 chance at winning an $800 moto. 800 divided by 11,600 is .07. This means that the 1 in 11,600 chance of winning the $800 moto actually adds 7 cents to the value of each ticket. When you add this 7 cents to the 97.4 cent value of the chance of winning the jackpot, you can calculate that the overall expected return on a $1 purchased ticket will be just over $1.04.
Of course, a $1 ticket will only be “worth” about $1.04 if the bar sells about 1,450 tickets. If the bar sells 1,500 tickets this week, the expected return on each $1 ticket purchased will only be about $1.01. But if the bar sells only 1,350 tickets this week, the “expected return” on each $1 ticket will be a very impressive $1.12. And that doesn’t even factor in that the Walkabout gives you a free beer for every three tickets that you buy.
Despite this week’s positive wagering opportunity, I can’t advocate that you blow all of your cigarette and hooker money buying tickets for Friday’s Joker Draw. Keep in mind that there is an 87.5% probability that no one will win the jackpot this week. There’s also a 50/50 chance that no one wins the jackpot this month. If you save up your money for later weeks, the wagering returns will likely get much better, and the time may soon come when it makes perfect sense to spend your entire life savings on Joker Draw tickets.