Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New KenoAtHome!

(or Tax on the Mathematically Disinclined)

I'm a geek.

I went the other day to visit the lovely Cozling at work at the West Ryde Leagues Club and Government Pension Reclaiming Centre, and while I waited for her to finish her shift I perused all that was available to me in the manner of flashing lights that take my money away. I read some of the pamphlets on the table, issued by the government, which inform you that the chances of you leaving with as much money as you walked in with are mathematically insignificant. No surprises there. I also read that poker machines in NSW are required by law to return 85% of the money put into them, which was kind of interesting, if only because it made me wonder how they check. And then I found the Keno rules.

Did I mention that I'm a geek?

The first page of the Keno rules says in BIG SHINY LETTERS that if I win the 10 number jackpot I could win ONE MILLION DOLLARS! The last page of the Keno rules tells me in tiny legalistic print that the odds of winning the 10 number jackpot are 1 in 8,911,711. Wow! And I thought the pokies were bad! Thats like an 11% payout rate. But thats only one of the MANY EXCITING PRIZES you could win on a 10 number bet, so I wrote a little computer program to tell me the odds on the whole game.

Oh yeah; wallowing in geek city over here...

The payout for Keno varies, depending on how many numbers you play, from under 65% to microscopically above 75%. For every dollar game you play, they just put 25 cents in their pocket and then start thinking about prizes. And it gets better, because the vast majority of prizes are pissy little things, like $10 or less, and everyone knows that if you win a pissy little prize you just put it back in the game... and they take another 25 cents out of every dollar.

So now, using the miracle of modern mathematics, RobCo is proud to present KenoAtHome! Just like the real game but with BETTER ODDS! Plus the drinks are cheaper! Ready to play?

1) Take a coin out of your pocket.
2) Flip it.
3) If it was heads, send me 50 cents; if it was tails, I owe you 25 cents.
4) Repeat as desired, and send me the results!*

* RobCo reserves the right to refuse payment for any results which differ from the mathematical norm by more than 1 standard deviation.**

** results differing from the norm by greater than 1 standard deviation can be detected if you can answer the following question in the affirmative: "Does RobCo owe me more than 50 cents?"***

*** prizes will be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.

**** "Geek" is a wholly owned trademark of RobCo.

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