Business: Lottery
Free Money   (+1, -7)  [vote for, against]
An (almost) sure way to play the lotto for free!

Write a number from 1 - 10 on a piece of paper ... offer for a dollar to let anyone guess the number, proceeds to be used to purchase lotto tickets. If someone guess the number, they are entitled to twice what everyone else wins when the winnings are split.

Relax and play lotto with others' money.
-- reensure, Sep 11 2005

-- benfrost, Sep 11 2005

Oh, thanks. Now what do we play?
-- sleeka, Sep 11 2005

Hungry Hungry Hippos is a sure-fire winner.
-- pooduck, Sep 11 2005

So, lemme see. If I get 10 people to guess in the "Free Money" lottery, I collect $10. If they each choose their own number, that means any winnings will be shared 12 ways - me, the lucky winner with their 2 shares, and the nine losers.

However, if there is more than one winner of the "Free Money" lottery then things get weird. I still get one share as do all those who did not guess correctly, but all the winners double their shares. Worst-case scenario would be a 21-way split. That means for every $20 in winnings I would get 95 cents, or $47,619 of a million-dollar winner. And best-case would bring me $83,333. I'm in! Bring on the 10 suckers, umm I mean investors!
-- Canuck, Sep 11 2005

Scissors. Your turn.
-- Detly, Sep 11 2005

Free Willy.
-- gnomethang, Sep 11 2005

Keep the money behind bars
-- DenholmRicshaw, Sep 11 2005

Essentially, you're asking people to pay you to administer their lottery pool.

If you find ten suckers^2 who think that's a good use of their time, let's say you're getting $1 from everybody, at a rate of return of 50%. That means that you'll make about 50 cents on average (a little less than that because of the second layer lottery.)

For those two quarters, you've done a whole lot of collecting money and buying tickets, let's say 10 minutes' worth of work. You'd make more flipping burgers. (And if you wanted to still play the lottery, you could use the amount of money you earn in excess of $3/h to play and come out ahead.) What's the point?
-- jutta, Sep 11 2005

Um, you don't actually have to do anything?
-- pooduck, Sep 11 2005

Free money? Ha! Money always has a pricetag.
-- zeno, Sep 11 2005

Right. What's not to like?

The point is, of course, your odds are 53/1 better for guessing my number than winning the lottery, played your way.
-- reensure, Sep 11 2005

Even with ten suckers covering your bet, you're still wasting your time. You've increased your chances of winning from 0 to 10*0.
-- kaeru, Sep 12 2005

The more sore losers there are, the better I might have been having it.
-- reensure, Sep 12 2005

Better yet, have them give you a dollar and tell them you're *thinking* of a number between 1 and 10. Then you win every time. You can even be nice and make them think they almost got it. "8? Oh so close, it was 9".
-- Gerad, Sep 12 2005

How is that better than playing the lottery with your own money?
-- reensure, Sep 12 2005

random, halfbakery