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# Partially-scratched lottery tickets

Premium charged for tickets which are on their way to being winners!
 (+3) [vote for, against]

This a black-market business concept whereby mass quantities of lottery tickets are purchased and are only partially scratched to reveal the underlying information - prize amount, poker hand, etc.

Those that appear to be on the way to winning a prize after a set amount of scratches (according to some algorithm which takes into account the information revealed at each successive scratch) are sold at a profit-maximizing price, above that originally paid to the lottery corporation, according to Bayesian probabilities.

Those already partially scratched but having less potential for winning a prize are sold at a discounted price or scratched to completion.

 — somewhatindustrious, Sep 20 2010

http://xkcd.com/795/ [hippo, Sep 20 2010]

[+] for the effort, but the fact that the lottery corporation makes money means that every scratch will make the tickets look less promising on average.
 — FlyingToaster, Sep 20 2010

It's a good idea... - this *could* work, except ...
Venn diagram:

(people who understand Bayesian probability)

(people who play the lottery)
 — hippo, Sep 20 2010

new Craigslist category coming right up.
 — FlyingToaster, Sep 20 2010

//the fact that the lottery corporation makes money means that every scratch will make the tickets look less promising on average// - this is absolutely right: scratching away a single number will, on average, reduce the value of a lottery ticket. However, most people have such a weak understanding of probability that they may pay over the odds for a number with one (correct) number scratched off. This would have to be tested. If this works you could buy a large number of lottery tickets and scratch off the first number on all of them. The small proportion you find with a number which matches one in the draw you sell at a price which covers your operation. The remainder you keep and scratch off all the numbers - any monor prizes you get from these numbers are profit.
 — hippo, Sep 20 2010

Nice way to con the gullible. [+] for evilness.
 — infidel, Sep 20 2010

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