Doo Dah
A Better Scratch Off Lottery

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hen the lottery first started about 30 years ago, I bought a couple tickets to see what the fuss was all about. I've never bought any since. It's a bore. Whenever I feel lucky and I think I can win $6,000,000, I just flush my dollar down the toilet. Maybe it will back up and when I unclog it, $100,000 will come flyin' out (wet). It hasn't happened yet ... but ... the odds are better.

I've often thought that they should let millionaires and mafia types just "wheel" the lotto for a set fee. Then the state would make a killing (heh). Think about it. You buy a winning ticket for $6,000,000 and hope that nobody else has bought one as well so you don't have to share the $100,000,000 jackpot (they wouldn't care to buy a winner with the pot at only 6-10 mil).

The lottery commission's strategy would be ... not to let anyone know that someone had wheeled the game in the hope that other suckers would also wheel it thinking that they were the only ones. Then the state gets all the grease and divides up the jackpot amongst many multiple winners. And ... Mr. Average Joe Doaks don't know jack so he stays in the game too.

But there is a flaw. Why work the lotto at less than 50% when you can go to Vegas and get over 90% plus free drinks, shows, crashpad and hookers? Hell, Las Vegas here I come. (You need to be a PLAYER though)

For cheap thrills, it's the scratchoff

Now, those little scratch off deals are OK. (I don't buy them either for a reason we'll get to momentarily). They're OK because you can actually win. On occasion I've bought one for my grandson for kicks or found one and scratched it off to reveal a $2 or $5 winner. Ain't much but it IS a winner.

The problem is that they too are a bore.

When you scratch the symbols or numbers you know that this ticket is a loser before you touch it. Sure, maybe it's worth $10,000 but nobody holds their breath. When I worked for a hotel many years ago, I occasionally found one not scratched off. When I did, I made a big production of revealing the numbers so as to impress my wife. First, I'd say some real prayers (Catholic) and slowly scratch the first number off. Then, some sort of magic incantation and scratch another. Always, at some point I'd scratch my balls just for luck and uncover another number or symbol. Finally, after at least 20 minutes of appealing to the gods I finished the ticket. If it won ... I was one with the universe (obviously). If not ... well ... who remembers failures.

What this thing needs is some pizzazz.

Schrodinger's Cat

It occurred to me that this scratch off game is just like Schrodinger's Cat paradox. The card is the cat. Your revealing the numbers is the gun being fired (randomly). We don't know if the card is a winner or a loser until we reveal the fact, i.e. cause the waveform to collapse on a definite value. And ... therefore ... as with the cat ... the card must be in two states simultaneously. Right?

No. As with Schrodinger's cat, quantum effects to not scale up to our level of strict determinism. That is, "the fucking card is a deterministic loser" of and unto itself regardless of anything we think, do or say ... not just a potential loser. It is not in a superimposed simultaneous multiple state. It is too big of an object to believe such quantum crap is involved.

However, there is a quantum analog at our level. A real world work-around that gives the appearance of "quantum weirdness". It is our ability to choose between two equal alternatives in a way which cannot be perceived as anything other than absolute chance. Though every idea in our heads may be perfectly deterministic, we cannot know in principle the why of our decisions (as regards equal alternatives) ... in principle. It therefore perfectly emulates quantum mechanics at the logical level.

Doo Dah

I call my new scratch off game "DooDah" from the racing song "Camptown Races" (sing this song doodah doodah ... Bet my money on a bobtail nag oh duh doo dah day ... remember?)

Whut do we doo dah?
doodah.gif - 41kb Well, on the card there are pairs of scratch offs (X O) like tic tac toe. You scratch one of the pair. If it's an X, your play is X. You need to get another X on the next pair. Scratch it off to reveal an O and you're a loser. Scracth another X and you win a specified amount ($$). Now, feel lucky? Scratch off another. If you get another X you double your winnings. Scratch an O and you tear up the ticket. It's worthless.

You go on like this for as long as you can and keep doubling your winnings. Or you stop and take what you've won (and cluck like a chicken). Simple, isn't it? But each card is a potential winner or loser in absolute terms. Thus, you yourself control your own destiny ... not the actual "deterministic state" of the card. There is a real sense here of $$$ possibilities. People will play this till their pockets are empty ... and ... get a real kick out of it to boot.

Let's say there are 14 pairs of scratch offs (shown). The first scratch selects your symbol. the second matching one gets you $2, third $4, fourth $8, fifth $16 ... 14th $16384. I wouldn't go higher than a few thousand dollar payout because ...

Someone will bust the game

With an electron microscope, X-ray machine, whatever.

Or can they? Countermeasures would be in place before the game was actually started ... to counteract conceivable cheats. If no one finds a way to steal prize money by illegal means, the game continues to everyone's enjoyment. If someone hacks the enterprise, it will show up as a statistical anomaly and the game is suspended (without payouts) pending investigation. More countermeasures ... game continues. At no time would the state be vulnerable to a huge loss because the payout is small per card. It would take a big anomaly to reap bigtime. If a hack goes unnoticed for months without causing a noticeable statistical anomaly, it doesn't matter ... no big anomaly = no big loss.

If this game can be started it will revolutionize low-end gambling and make it a real fun thing. Imagine getting a card with ten straight and holding for a week ... should I or shouldn't I? And ... there is a rule that if you reveal a symbol not connected to your string, it doesn't count for anything. So you could do this ... After eight in a row, uncover the tenth. If the tenth matches your eight you decide whether to go for number 9 and get a fourfold increase of just fold there for what you've got. (The coward's way out ;o)


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