Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Buy my luck.com

Playing on people's idiocy.
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

This is somewhat inspired the recent posts on web-based placebo healing.

Many people who gamble "know" that the odds even out. If a roulette wheel comes up red four times in a row, it's surely much more likely to come up black next time, because the average has to be 50:50.

Of course, this is sheer tombollockry, but many people nevertheless find it hard to resist this idea.

(I'll write this bit again for [8th] and anyone else who is hard of reading: Of course, this is sheer tombollockry, but many people nevertheless find it hard to resist this idea.)


MaxCo Gaming (a wholly-disowned supersidiary of LaxMaxStats, Inc.) is launching "buymyluck.com". It works a bit like eBay.

Gamblers who have had a recent losing streak at, say, roulette, can auction the skewed odds which they have experienced.

For example, suppose I have rouletted unsuccessfully, having lost six bets placed on "red" consecutively before I am cleaned out. I can advertise "a 1/64 run" - meaning that I have experienced a misfortune which has only a 1/64 chance of happening (which is the case, for six consecutive "reds").

Buyers can bid on my "luck", but only the winning bidder will be told that it was six *reds* in a row (it could have been six *blacks* in a row, for all he knew, until he bought the luck and paid me for it).

The winning buyer can then head for the roulette table, knowing that the good old "law of averages" mean that he is more likely to win on black than on red.

If the buyer wins his bet on black, he goes away a happy man (or woman, in the more liberated areas), and will no doubt bid more fiercely next time to buy some other loser's "luck".

If the buyer loses, and his wheel comes up red yet again, then all is not lost! He now has a "1/128 run" in his possession (he bought my 1/64 run, and lost to red yet again). This is more valuable than the 1/64 run of luck he bought, and therefore he can offer it for sale on buymyluck.com, expecting to recoup at least a portion of his total losses.

Indeed, because the value of "luck" depends on how much you are gambling, small-fry gamblers might actually make a huge profit on their losses: I might have lost only six one-dollar bets, but my "1/64 run" might sell for thousands of dollars to a gambler who plans to bet millions.

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

Become Astoundingly Rich Become Astoundingly Rich
A similar idea in motivation, albeit taking on an alternative viewpoint as to the natural processes underpinning luck and its manipulation (and transfer) towards material gain. Fails to utilise the word "tombollockry" quite as clearly as in this instance. [zen_tom, Nov 25 2010]

Lucky Charm (modelled on MaxwellBuchanan) http://www.blingdom...LuckyLeprechaun.jpg
age old $3 version - now you know what Max looks like. [xenzag, Nov 25 2010]

Friday Seventh Friday_20Seventh
by Fishrat. Contains discussion of temporal and physical placement of luck, which may or may not be relevant. [calum, Nov 26 2010]


       I was very ready to bone this. But, just before I lost attention it made sense. [+]
daseva, Nov 24 2010

       Note to self: adapt ideas to help people with a short attention
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

       // it's surely much more likely to come up black next time, because the average has to be 50:50 //   

       No. Go away and learn some statistics. The odds are always the same, and not quite 50:50 because there are one or two Zeros in the wheel (House takes all) which biases the odds.   

       The wheel has no "memory". Irrespective of ots previous "choice", the new "choice" is still random.   

       Have you come across the term "Stochastic" by any chance ?   

       Las Vegas and Monte Carlo just LOVE people like you ....
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       8th, please read before writing. See the subtitle, and the third paragraph of the idea. I wrote it in English to assist this process.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

       Apologies. We have recently been browsing a number of purely U.S. websites, and our Irony filters have consequently auto-switched to Cold Standby mode due to lack of use.
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       [8th] I tried to save you in time, but alas, [MB] got to you before me. Even *I* thought this was obvious. I think it was "tombollockry," that sealed the deal, even though I cannot find the word in any English dictionary.
Boomershine, Nov 24 2010

       // tombollockry //   

       A word that has every right to exist from now on.
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       Agreed. [+]
Boomershine, Nov 24 2010

       Pressing question: Can this be extended meaningfully to slot machines, or other gambling devices with more than two outcomes?   

       (Failing that, can it be extended meaningfully to take advantage of those who believe in 'streaks' instead of 'due' numbers? I suspect that would simply require more sophisitcated odds-calculation, but would remove the potential of luck resale value.)   

gisho, Nov 24 2010

       How does the actual transfer of the odds from person to person work? I've heard of selling lucky/cursed dice, where the failed rolls are obviously remembered by the die itself (as all players of D&D "know"), but how does a money transaction imbue the buyer with luck? Maybe the seller sends the buyer a tainted chip used at the roulette table?
iaoth, Nov 24 2010

       //Pressing question: Can this be extended meaningfully....//   

       Almost indefinitely. And you can also sell your luck even if you win: if you won six times in a row on red, another gambler might want to buy your "luck" and bet on black.   

       //How does the actual transfer of the odds from person to person work?//   

       It relies on the same Mysterious Force which (ipso quando nul ignorantia) ensures that the wheel that has given six reds will try to even things out by coming up black next time. MaxCo Gaming does not claim to fully understand this Mysterious Force - we are merely happy to act as the gobetween in its exchange. What is transferred is the knowledge. Remember, 60% of gamblers can't be wrong...   

       Did we mention the 10% commission on sales? Alternatively, you may prefer to defer the sales commission and pay 15% of your winnings. If by some chance you lose, you pay no commission. That's how just fair we are.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

       // What is transferred is the knowledge //   

       ... and knowledge is power, of course.
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       //(ipso quando nul ignorantia)//   

       ... does for Latin what the idea itself does for Statistics.
pertinax, Nov 25 2010

       Was entirely with you as a business proposition until you said no commission in the case of loss. Think of your margins, man! and of the fun you and your business associated can have extracting payment from the, ho ho, luckless.
calum, Nov 25 2010

       Well quite. The only people likely to use the service are the terminally unlucky. People who seem to sail through life as if it were the opening round of questions on The Weakest Link will have no need nor desire, i suspect, to participate. Well, not as buyers anyway.

Regarding the method of transfer for luck. This can be achieved by not only stating what your previous run of luck/unluck was, but by also providing the buyer with details of what your next gamble is likely to be. The buyer can then either follow your own intentions or take the opposite view. Once you have made the sale however, you are contractually obliged not to make the gamble, thus effecting a physical transfer of intentions from you to the buyer.
DrBob, Nov 25 2010

       I want this baked and I want it baked now and I want to get right in there with an account and start SELLING. Thankyou.
pocmloc, Nov 25 2010

       <pedant> Surely every run of six goes on a roulette wheel (when betting red or black) is a "1/64 run"? (e.g. if I bet RBBRRB and the wheel comes up BRRBBR) </pedant>
hippo, Nov 25 2010

       Ah, Hippo. You may be right, but that is hardly the point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2010

       "or you may navigate my Texas Hold 'em page for your purchases"   

       "was my luck REALLY that good just now? You KNOW it was. Press "YES" and buy my luck right now!   

       another whole level of intricacy involving bait and bluff might be introduced, with potentially higher stakes and renumeration for your enterprise.
mysediments_exactly, Nov 25 2010

       The possibilities are unlimitless!
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2010

       As an indicator of just how sad and empty my life is, I've spent a considerable amount of time since my last anno wondering whether luck, like everything else, is subject to the law of conservation of energy. If I sell my own prevailing luck, is their an equal and opposite exchange? If so, then this might put off potential sellers as not only will they be divesting themselves of their own good luck but they may also be taking on-board an equal and opposite amount of bad luck.

I think, Max, that you are, at the very least, going to have to come up with some convincing bollocks to explain this situation away should the question come up in a court of law. I suspect that pseudo-science would be inadequate to the task so I suggest that you neatly sidestep the problem by resorting to a terms of use clause on the website.
DrBob, Nov 25 2010

       You have clearly not read the small-print in buymyluck.com's terms and conditions.   

       However, it is easy to explain (to a gullible fool -i.e. most people) how this works. We know that the roulette wheel will, on average, give 50% red and 50% black (ignoring the zero). Therefore, out of 12 spins, the likeliest outcome is 6 blacks and 6 reds. This can easily be verified by watching many series of 12 spins at a roulette table.   

       Now, if the likeliest outcome of 12 spins is six reds, and if I have already seen the wheel give six reds, it follows (by simple subtraction) that the likeliest outcome of the next six spins will be six blacks.   

       Of course, the question then arises as to how the wheel "knows" what it's meant to do.   

       Well, obviously, it can't. Nor does any particular wheel need to remember, as the following argument makes clear:   

       Imagine now that we consider 12 spins, but on 12 completely independent roulette wheels, perhaps even in 12 different casini. Once again, the most probable result is 6 red and 6 black overall. Again, this can be verified if you so wish.   

       Therefore, if I have spun 6 wheels and got a red on each one, then clearly the next 6 spins, on any wheels whatsoever, are most likely to give 6 blacks.   

       So, the luck isn't wheel-specific. Nor (by similar reasoning) can it be player-specific. (Imagine 12 gamblers each playing 1 spin on 12 different wheels.)   

       Nope, the luck must be woven deep into the fabric of spacetime and mathematics. Clearly, "luck" cannot be attached to any physical object (the wheel; the player). Therefore, flatus intra fidelis, "luck" must be a purely informational thing. It is the information that you are paying for.   

       At this point on the website, you can click "Go Advanced", to bring up an even longer explanation involving the words "stochastic" and "entropy".   

       [8th - please re-read paras 3 and 4 of the idea before annotating.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2010

       The Terms and Conditions should mention "Quantum entanglement" somewhere too. Not as the basis for any claim, of course, but just in such a way as to impress gullible people.
hippo, Nov 26 2010

       This, though, is merely the first step to the creation and exploitation of a broader luck market. The transaction model will be, as set out in the idea, crude, but only initially. Once the market matures (and thereby becomes attractive to clear-eyed traders, the stewards of our capital wealth) complexity can be added in myriad brain-dizzying ways (securitisation, shortselling u.s.w), such that the underlying assumptions - demonstrably false, yet emotionally appealing - are forgotten, obfusticated, or both. Then, and only then, is it safe to commence cackling.   

       The risk with this, though, is that the period between achieving sufficient market maturation and the arrival of regulation is (dependent on jurisdiction) relatively small. We shall have to act fast, or relocate to some recently ruined and susceptible fringe nation.
calum, Nov 26 2010

       Heather, I am led to make believe has a curiously stong propensity to entangle its quantums. In addition, clover undergoes a genetic change in response to certain quantum entanglements, the macroscopic collapse of associated waveforms being evidenced in an extra leaf.
zen_tom, Nov 26 2010

       //relocate to some recently ruined and susceptible fringe nation//   

       Top o' da mornin' to ye'!
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2010

       //tombollockry// Is that what powers tombolas?
pertinax, Nov 26 2010

       If the statistical odds are the same for every spin of the wheel or roll of the dice, and we know that they are, then in order for there to be true randomness when it comes to luck there have to be a few individuals who almost always guess correctly, and a few individuals who almost never do.
Find those folks and you'd have yourself a commodity.
A varifiable 'rate my luck' site would be a good starting point.

       //online transaction entangled bollockry.//   

       [bigs], our marketing department is drafting your contract.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2010

       Odds are it'll be a good one ...
8th of 7, Nov 26 2010

       You betcha.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2010

       A penny was flipped two times. Given that the first flip was heads, what are the odds the second flip was also heads?   

       What's the difference between the above and the following?   

       A roulette wheel came up red last time. What are the odds the next spin will also be red?
Voice, Jun 14 2016

       //Indeed, because the value of "luck" depends on how much you are gambling, small-fry gamblers might actually make a huge profit on their losses: I might have lost only six one-dollar bets, but my "1/64 run" might sell for thousands of dollars to a gambler who plans to bet millions.//

- I'm not sure about this; If you buy some luck which is based on a series of $1 bets this luck is surely diluted if you try and apply it to a $1000 bet. I think to allow this kind of transaction you need to go down the road of [calum]'s packaging and securitising of luck. So, if you wanted to buy some luck to make a $1000 bet you would bid for this luck on ILEX (International Luck Exchange) which would sell you a consolidated product made up of luck accrued from many losing $1 punters at roulette wheels around the country. This both avoids the dilution of luck and, as [calum] notes, neatly obfuscates the true basis of the product you're buying - just like those complex financial products built on a hidden foundation of sub-prime mortgages that were so popular in 2008.
hippo, Jun 15 2016

       Luck has nothing to do with events or outcome of events. It has everything to do with duration of time of observation. If you think about a single happy incident in your life, that was lucky. Maybe it was a lucky day. Maybe that week could be considered a lucky week. Now look at your entire life. The entire duration since the industrial revolution. Since the beginning of the precambrian era.
Ian Tindale, Jun 15 2016

       //perhaps even in 12 different casini. //   

       That's a lot of spacecraft!
csea, Jun 15 2016

       for [insert deity of choice] sake Max patent this quick!!   

       tombollockry or not you know damn well that this will most definitely sell (if only as a novelty idiot site of the same variety as those various buy a star or plot of land on the moon gift sites)   

       you could make a fortune ;D   

       just be sure to put all the appropriate legal disclaimers on prominent display on the opening page
Skewed, Jun 15 2016

       [iaoth], in November of 2010 said" failed rolls are obviously remembered by the die itself (as all players of D&D "know") "   

       I've found another group suitable for play, and my dice rolling skills are as poor as they ever were. I'd like to buy some luck.
normzone, Jun 16 2016

       I think that the main failing of this idea is that it is tied to the measurable phenomena (red or black, your horse coming in last). This is fine but restrictive. Luck permeates the universe in a number of tangible yet unquantifiable ways. A man might be unlucky in love because he doesn't get to put his penis in a lady for five attempts in a row (quantifiable) but equally he might be unlucky in love because he finds and marries a girl (or lady) who turns out, once he has hung his sense of self on his relationship with this ladygirl, not to be that keen on his many foibles and odours and while she is in it for the longish haul, is also content to make his life a misery for a good few years before rinsing him for all she can (unquantifiable). Why should this category of bad luck be barricaded from the market? The existing financial markets run primarily on sentiment and accounting assessments which are in each case based on picking a figure and then finding numbers to support it.   

       Yes, we can diversify the marketable luck base by developing LUCK ACCOUNTANCY, a profession that runs more complicated, more opaque, less arithmeticky than the crude fractional calculations which Max proposed all those years ago. Your credentials, properly burnished, lend the patina of legitimacy to the new and advanced forms of luck based snake oil Max and his City cronies are peddling, all of a sudden you are the go-to Luck Accountant, able to conjour spreadsheets forty eight tabs deep, all interlinked, 6 point text, coloured boxes, beautiful, sending corporate hearts aflutter, giving them - laying out for them - fresh intangible territory to invade, packaging up spoddy shut-ins who couldn't get their underfelt without paying for it, those souls who just don't see the dogshit on the pavement, and selling this huge seam, cash like Vázquez de Coronado never dreamt of, selling it hand over fist, dollars yen pounds, selling it to... to... to the banks.
calum, Jun 16 2016


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