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Wizard
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Wizard
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August 7th, 2011 at 9:04:16 AM permalink
Here is an article someone sent to me: Two lottery enthusiasts suing Loto-Québec. Here is the executive summary:

  1. The Quebec lottery has an "extra" game. The player must pick 6 digits from 0 to 9, and order matters. Players can either right to left or left to right.
  2. As with most lottery games, there is a "quick pick" option.
  3. If player elects a quick pick the first and last digits are not randomized. I don't know exactly how it is done, but if the player buys 10 quick picks, he will get each digit 0 to 9 as the first pick, as well as the last pick. I believe the middle four digits are chosen randomly
  4. This semi-random method of choosing quick picks results in the same expected value, but less volatility for purchases of 10.
  5. A player noticed said pattern on his ticket and sued the lottery for $20,040,000 because he wanted volatility.
  6. Lottery is fighting the lawsuit.


What do you think should happen?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
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August 7th, 2011 at 9:07:28 AM permalink
Lottery makes the rules, you either play by their rules or don't play. It's a Hobson's choice but a choice none the less.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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August 7th, 2011 at 9:39:01 AM permalink
Was it deceptive to say that Quick means Fully Randomized? Did they ever say that?
pocketaces
pocketaces
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August 7th, 2011 at 9:53:21 AM permalink
I think they have a legitimate gripe. The way they assigned the numbers completely takes them away from 'gambling' for the smallest and most common prize. They are guaranteed it on one ticket, and don't have a chance on the others. The expectation is different: Any other lottery obviously allows you to win multiple small prizes with multiple tickets.

With that being said, is it worth 20 million? No. It's not even worth $200. It has a very small effect and there was no hardship endured by the players. But the case will probably focus on the somewhat non-randomness of the game, no matter how benign, and whether that is worth punitive damages.

I hope these guys don't cash in on this. But I imagine they may get a small settlement, and if it makes the lottery change their way that is okay by me.
pocketaces
pocketaces
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August 7th, 2011 at 10:05:17 AM permalink
Quote: pocketaces

I think they have a legitimate gripe. The way they assigned the numbers completely takes them away from 'gambling' for the smallest and most common prize. They are guaranteed it on one ticket, and don't have a chance on the others. The expectation is different: Any other lottery obviously allows you to win multiple small prizes with multiple tickets.

With that being said, is it worth 20 million? No. It's not even worth $200. It has a very small effect and there was no hardship endured by the players. But the case will probably focus on the somewhat non-randomness of the game, no matter how benign, and whether that is worth punitive damages.

I hope these guys don't cash in on this. But I imagine they may get a small settlement, and if it makes the lottery change their way that is okay by me.



I was thinking about this a bit more, and think it may be more of an issue than I thought. By raising the odds of a single small prize to be won, the lottery is benefiting from the practice where small prizes almost always turn in to re-purchased lottery tickets, rather than paying out in cash. This could be seen as a profit-raising practice at the expense of randomness.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 7th, 2011 at 10:50:27 AM permalink
I'm confused. The article indicates that doing this, with 10 extra quick picks, guarantees a $2 win. Does that mean exactly $2, or a minimum of $2?

If it's a minimum, what's the big deal?

And the other thing is, does the lottery declare in the rules, brochures or whatever, the method in which those extra quick picks are chosen? I gotta think that somewhere the method is disclosed. They simply assumed, and are suing over an incorrect assumption.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Nareed
Nareed
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August 7th, 2011 at 11:25:17 AM permalink
Sounds as though it should be the beginning of a joke:

Two lottery enthusiast sue the Quebec Lottery.
"We want our money," Jacques, the first lottery fan says. "We demand satisfaction!"
....

And so on.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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August 7th, 2011 at 1:48:13 PM permalink
Quote: pocketaces



I hope these guys don't cash in on this. But I imagine they may get a small settlement, and if it makes the lottery change their way that is okay by me.



I cannot concieve of the lottery offering any small settlement, as that would open the floodgates. If you are going to POSSIBLY be unhappy with any sequence of numbers assigned, then choose your own numbers. Duhhhhh...
pocketaces
pocketaces
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August 7th, 2011 at 6:10:25 PM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

I cannot concieve of the lottery offering any small settlement, as that would open the floodgates. If you are going to POSSIBLY be unhappy with any sequence of numbers assigned, then choose your own numbers. Duhhhhh...



Yep this could be avoided by picking your own numbers. I initially thought this game was played like the Ontario version, which is quick pick only, but quebec does allow you to dictate your own digits. I do imagine that the vast majority are quick picks, as assigning random digits is not as interesting as lotto numbers which can mimic birthdays and such.

Perhaps more importantly, the lottery cannot be purchased without also purchasing a ticket to another game, all of which are at least $1. This means they cannot simply split the combinations in to 10 seperate tickets, or they would have to pay much more. This add-on feature also has the effect of making quick pick even more attractive, as it is a simple "yes" to the clerk on the upsell or check of the box on the selection slip.

Good point on the settlement, but lotteries have found ways to settle with whistleblower-types for a secret amount before and not pay out anything else. This happened in Ontario. These guys seem to want a hell of a lot more though. That's what makes me hope the lottery wins.

Quote: DJTeddyBear

I'm confused. The article indicates that doing this, with 10 extra quick picks, guarantees a $2 win. Does that mean exactly $2, or a minimum of $2?

If it's a minimum, what's the big deal?



In this case, unless the player wins a larger prize in a different category, they would be assured exactly one $2 win. No more, no less. In essence, they give you every combination and then take their cut, leaving you with a guaranteed loss. This process wouldn't be considered gambling, and would be like the wizard's example of a net loss of $500 above, or betting on every number in roulette. This is a troubling aspect. However it doesn't cost the player any EV at all, only volatility.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 7th, 2011 at 7:45:37 PM permalink
Quote: pocketaces

In this case, unless the player wins a larger prize in a different category, they would be assured exactly one $2 win. No more, no less. In essence, they give you every combination and then take their cut, leaving you with a guaranteed loss. This process wouldn't be considered gambling, and would be like the wizard's example of a net loss of $500 above, or betting on every number in roulette. This is a troubling aspect. However it doesn't cost the player any EV at all, only volatility.

That's messed up.

But, if that's the way it is, and properly publicized as such, then the Lottery should win.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁

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