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


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 . . . .

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Milestone!

I have reached an important milestone in the history of the blog!

That last post was the first time I've used the word "exercise" without getting flagged by blogger's spellchecker.

See, I am capable of making progress!

Sparkpeople: Better Than Fitday

If you want a good calorie/exercise website, in the past I have recommended Fitday.

I now revise this, and recommend Sparkpeople.

A completely free site, it can be whatever you want it to be.

Do you want a site that gives you diet plans? It can do that.

Do you want a site that lets you pick your own food, thank you very much? It can do that.

Do you want a site that gives you communities of people you can work together with for support and help? It can do that.

Do you want a site where you and your friends can all go together and make your own little group to monitor each other's progress? It can do that.

It's a good site. Check it out.

And if you do, say DocMagik sent you. I don't get a dime, but I get "Points."

Points are another way SparkPeople helps you track progress--you can get points for entering what you've eaten, points for reading articles, points for exercising--it's a way for you to feel like you're progressing even if you're not losing weight.

I first signed up for it months ago, but didn't realize until about the end of last month how cool and helpful it is.

And the good part is, between the food log and the exercise log, if you're not losing weight, you'll know exactly why.