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Friday, November 18, 2011

Fraudulent Lottery?

I'm thinking of running a lottery to “sell” my house. The price of a ticket will be €100 and I will need to sell at least 10,000 so that the house can be renovated to a standard suitable for the prize winner, and to pay off the outstanding mortgage. If I was to tell you that the lottery tickets are to be numbered 000000 to 999999 and all possible numbers are entered into the draw even though only around 10,000 tickets had been sold, would you partake in this lottery? No, I don't think so!
Strangely, there is a lottery run by the state in the Netherlands, de Staatsloterij, which holds a monthly draw, issuing tickets with numbers in the format XX999999. A lot costs €15 and a 1/5 lot costs €3. There are several prize denominations, the lowest being less than the price of the ticket, the highest, the jackpot running into several millions. Of course the jackpot prize doesn't fall every month because, as you might already have surmised, all possible ticket combinations are entered into the draw, even the only a small percentage of this number have actually been sold! Of course to keep the punters happy, they force the jackpot to fall every few months.
Government fraud or what?

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