Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Harder Than Drowning in the Bath

The TAB has earned great coverage from their gimmick promoting the Soccer World Cup, offering a prize of $5 million if you can correctly predict all 64 World Cup games.

This is going several results better than the German octopus from the last Cup, and on the face of it looks “gettable,” says the Royal New Zealand Herald.

“It’s gettable, but it’s hard – that’s why it’s five million dollars.”

The experts at Crowd Goes Wild reckon you and I might have a shot, but.

“An expert is less likely to win it than someone who just has a shot at it.”
“It’s only 64 games and, as I say, there’s only 20 tricky ones I reckon”

So what are your odds?

Thomas Lumley at Stats Chat has calculated them for your. Your chance of winning, he says, would be 1 in 5,227,573,613,485,916,806,405,226,496.

At those odds, the value of an entry is approximately 1 ten-thousand-million-billionth of a cent (10-19 cents).

Just for a comparison, this is somewhat considerably more unlikely than the odds of being struck by lightning (576,000 to 1), drowning in the bath (685,000 to 1), or having a meteor fall on your house (182,138,880,000,000 to 1).

As Mr Lumley points out,

If you can predict a dozen of the games with perfect accuracy and get 70% right for the rest, you’d be much better off just betting.

And if you can’t, why not just try Lotto – the odds for which, on average, say you’d expect to win once in every 18453 years and 9 months.

Easy money.

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