bradtem wrote:graidawg wrote:
can you say that again slowly and in english please?
When you have an uncertain outcome with probabilities, like in lotteries, you calculate an "expected value" which is to say what the average value would be if you did something a zillion times. You won't buy a zillion burning man tickets but you will take tons of chances like this in your life and so the right way to think of the cost is to use this expected value.
Take simple gambling. If I offer you a coin toss where I pay you $1 for heads and $2 for tails, the break-even price for you to bet would be $1.50. That's because after 10 tosses you are going to pay $15 and probably get back $15. The "expected value" of each toss is $1.50. If I let you do it for less than $1.50 it's a win, if I charge more (like a Casino does) it's a loss. When you see slot machines advertise "98% payback" it means the expected value from a bet is 98 cents on the dollar, even though no given bet returns that.
Anyway, for the main sale of tickets, the expected value is $326.50 per ticket. You won't pay that, and you won't buy tickets too often in life, but that's how to treat the cost of such a ticket (mostly) compared to $420. It's not exactly that because there is some chance of losing either the pre-sale or main sale.
I was with you till "take simple gambling"