Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Minesweeper Scratch-Off

Windows minesweeper game scratch-off ticket
  [vote for,

If you are familiar with Minesweeper, skip to the next paragraph. The game is a grid of squares. When you click one, it either is a mine (you lose), a blank, or a number. The number is how many mines are next to the square. Using these numbers, you mark the location of all the mines.

You will buy a scratch off ticket with 100 squares. Each square will scratch off to reveal a blank, a number, or a mine. If your scratch off ticket shows a mine, then it is worthless. If you scratch off every square except the mine squares, then you win. There is a single scratch off at the top that tells you how many mines to expect. The value of the winning ticket depends on how many mines the ticket has.

10 mines = $2
20 mines = $5
30 mines = $50
40 mines = $1,000.

GenYus, Jun 28 2004

Inspired by Ustard Minesweeper http://www.halfbake...stard_20Minesweeper
Inspiration [GenYus, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

minesweeper post card http://connectdesig...o=28&display_group=
only $2 [xaviergisz, Jun 17 2012]


       Too easy, sorry.
DrCurry, Jun 28 2004

       What DrCurry said--making a game of chance into a game of skill will likely make you broke, 'cause if you suck at minesweeper, you buy a different scratch and win.
yabba do yabba dabba, Jun 28 2004

       There are many well-known "impossible" postions in minesweeper--that is, arrangements of 2 or more mines where it is impossible to determine where they are without a raw guess. Most of these configurations offer something like 50% odds you will die. There's enough chance to make this potentially tenable.   

       Plus, the person might get unlucky on the first scratch.
5th Earth, Jun 28 2004

       Granted, but the guess is still educated, as to how many bombs are left unswept and how many blocks are left uncovered. Fishbone withdrawn.
yabba do yabba dabba, Jun 28 2004

       It's probably true that people who can play minesweeper fairly well might buy these more than people who couldn't win a game even on the easiest level. But I think there is actually a chance to make this work.   

       The first order of business would be to determine the exact probability of winning a game at each difficulty level assuming the optimal choices are made.   

       Once that is figured out, assign the price and the prize values such that if someone played without making mistakes they would have exactly even odds. Then these tickets can be advertized as the lottery tickes with the best odds of winning.   

       Now there would be some people playing who could play a perfect game every time, and the lottery will loose a little money in administrative fees to them. However, I suspect that there will be more people making enough mistakes that the actual odds will be less than a normal lottery ticket, but because of people's pride, as long as they win a game once in a while, they will delude themselves into thinking that they are better off playing this than the normal lottery.   

       But there is one major technical issue. How do you guarantee that somebody can't scratch the entire ticket, then recoat it so that it appears to not have been scratched, then rescratch all but the mines, allowing someone to always win? You could use some anti-couterfeit techniques, but still there's no guarantee that someone couldn't duplicate those measures.   

       This could be combatted by making the odds even only if the minesweeper game is always won, but I suspect that would make the odds so low that few people would want to play.
scad mientist, Jun 28 2004

       [scad meintist], most of the scratch off games that I've seen have a pattern printed on the scratch off portion. So you'd have to duplicate the printing of the scratched off portion.
GenYus, Jun 28 2004

       Minesweeper, IMO, is boring. I would skip over it, especially if I'm paying money. It's not hard to learn, so potentially everyone would catch on and the lottery people would go out of business. Fishbone. [-]
Pocketassreturn, Jun 28 2004

       I doubt this idea would be very successful. I have played Minesweeper on the PC from time to time, and I would say I am only average at it (my best time on Expert is 104 seconds), but from my experience I would definitely gain a profit from this type of lottery game, especially if it allowed multiple submissions.   

       Usually the only true elements of chance I encounter in the game is the first few grids, and the possiblity of an ending deadlock between two identical grids that both have equal chances of holding the last mine.   

       If I were to give a crude estimate, I would say I personally can win on a bad day about 1 out of 5 games I play, although in the sample 5 games I just played for the sake of authenticity, I ended up winning 3 out of 5. Not a very safe bet for whoever funds the lottery, I'm sorry to say. As for worries of fraud, I would suppose the criminals-to-be would be better off just learning how to play the game.   

       Edit: The setting for the Minesweeper games I am referring to is Expert, which is 99 mines and a 30 x 16 grid. I suppose the number of mines vs the grid size would be a very large factor in determining the odds of winning, but the more the mines are clustered together, the more the game would lose the point of Minesweeper entirely.
Max]I[muS-X, Jun 28 2004

       Now if you had two or more grids on a card, then there is a chance that even with someone like max]I[mus you would win one game on the card and loose the other.
engineer1, Jun 29 2004

       In case the game tests to be too easy, the number of mines and size of the grid could be changed to make it harder and more random. For example, putting 30 mines on a 10 x 10 grid would mean that 30% of people would lose on the first scratch.
GenYus, Jun 29 2004

       I have a strange attraction to scratch off games, especially those that keep me busy for a little while (bingo and the like). Adding some skill to the cards would only make them more enjoyable. (+)   

       To those people saying that this would be a bad business venture for the lottory people, no way. The cards can easily be designed to have an appropriate number of "blind spots" in them such that even if every player was perfect in their ability to use logic, they will still only have a certain % chance of winning. Forcing the player to use skill (and potentially screw up) will only increase the odds that the card becomes worthless - good for the lotto people.
luecke, Jun 29 2004

       Minesweeper fanatics would definitely clean up on this one. The only way the corporation could make money on this game is if there was a very small prize for a large amount of work, but then that would make the game unpopular. The farthest I could see anyone going with this idea is making a minesweeper *themed* scratch-and-win ticket, where someone would have to scratch, say, five out of seven squares (at random) without scratching a mine. After that, he would scratch the prize area to find out the value of the prize.   

       At any rate, suggest it to the Michigan Lottery Board. They'll most likely accept the idea.
WordUp, Jun 29 2004

       My best time on Expert level is 62 seconds.
ORISIS, Apr 03 2005

       lol it would be awesome if it was printed on a fast food container.   

       Would help pass some time when you finish eating.
mofosyne, Mar 03 2011

       //10 mines = $2
20 mines = $5
30 mines = $50
40 mines = $1,000.//

       The odds of winning are:
10 mines = 5.8 x 10e-14
20 mines = 1.9 x 10e-21
30 mines = 3.4 x 10e-26
40 mines = 7.3 x 10e-29

       Naturally, the odds get better with enough mines:
50 mines = 9.9 x 10e-30
60 mines = 7.3 x 10e-29
70 mines = 3.4 x 10e-26
80 mines = 1.9 x 10e-21
90 mines = 5.8 x 10e-14
99 mines = 0.01
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 17 2012


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