Saturday, September 23, 2006

Online Contests: Netwinner and Math

So after doing some searching and seeing that their spyware only affects Internet Explorer users, I fire up Firefox and check out Netwinner.

It's no secret that I use Iwon for my internet searches. It's based off google, and it's part of a point I'm trying to make--I enter a bunch of contests in order to prove I accomplish way more by myself than I do off the contests I enter.

So I check out Netwinner. It's basically a Keno game, or a lotto. You pick four two digit numbers and a one digit number. You click "WIN!!" It tells you if any of your numbers came up.

You get points. 10 points for the one digit number, and 25 points for a two digit number.

Get three or more balls, and you get cash right away, from $25 up to $50,000, with a jackpot of over a million dollars.

And while you're playing, ads--full-on video commercials--are playing off to the side of the screen.

So how many points get you a prize? 25,000 points = a $25 gift certificate.

With the speed of the game, you can play about 3 times a minute. Statistically, you can hit the one digit number about ever ten tries--about once every three minutes. You can get 25 points about every 7 tries--the odds are 1 in 6.86.

The odds of hitting both go up 10x--they'd be 1 in 68.6, so you'd hit that and get 100 points on about every 69 plays--or about once every hour and ten minutes.

You'd get 500 points for matching 2 balls about once every two and a half hours--odds of 1 in 143.32.

You'd also hit the bonus ball on that and get 5,000 about once a day--if you played straight for 24 hours.

So if you put all of that together, mathematically, how long would it take to earn $25?

Man, I would never have believed you needed algebra in the real world. Okay, here goes.

Here's the algebra, if you care:

X=number of turns to win

25,000=(1/10)10x+(1/6.86)25x+(1/143.32)500x+(1/1433.2)5000x
25,000=x+3.64x+3.49x+3.49x
25,000=(1+3.64+3.49+3.49)x
25,000=11.62x
2,151.46=x

If you can play three times in one minute, it would take you 717 minutes, or 11.95 hours to win $25. That's about $2.10 an hour.

You might as well just get a second job. Your time would be better spent.

But here's the thing--I've played the game, and it seems that, despite the odds, you hit the two digit numbers less often than you hit the final 10 digit number.

Which makes me think this isn't a keno-style lottery. In other words, that the numbers can repeat in the four digit sequence. This, of course, would make you win less and make winning the $25 take even longer.

This would explain why, on their forums, most players report it takes longer than 40 hours to get to the $25. (And yet they still play.)

Oh, and how long would it take to jump straight to a $25 payout?

Well, the odds would be 1 in 10,211.52, or 56.73 hours, even in a straight Keno lotto.

And the big money? The million dollar jackpot?

The odds of hitting that would be 1 in 39,212,250.

If you had a team of 100 people playing 8 hours a day, at three tries a minute, it would take you 272.31 days.

If you paid them five dollars an hour, that would have cost you 1,089,229.17 to pay for their salaries. You'd have almost broke even.

But then there's rent on the buildings, the T1 lines for the computers, workmen's comp insurance, sick days . . . .

1 comment:

hunter said...

What do you think about running computers with scripts to click numbers and press win. It would not be unreasonable too set up 1-5 computers and have them spend all day playing. 273 days is not a long wait for 1m dollars, perhapse it's rigged or your math is wrong otherwise people would have have 20-200 cpu's playing this game non stop.