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Author Topic: Introducing: The Amazing Anonymous Bitcoin Lottery  (Read 21203 times)
FreeMoney
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September 05, 2010, 12:06:39 PM
 #141

I bought some pick3 tickets and the pot did not increase, it has been a few hours.

That is expected, seeing as I up the pot by 5BTC every 10 bets. It's a psychological thing, I didn't like the 0.5 or 1BTC increases in my tests, and honestly would go as far as 10 each 20, but I thought I'd be stretching the rope there, there's not enough betters yet.

Good luck!

Ah, okay.

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September 06, 2010, 12:40:32 AM
 #142

I think I won the pick 3, but I haven't been credited. If you seed the next one too I'll buy even more, it's a damn good deal right now.

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September 06, 2010, 08:38:40 AM
 #143

I think I won the pick 3, but I haven't been credited. If you seed the next one too I'll buy even more, it's a damn good deal right now.

Heh, congratulations! So it was you who took all my seed btcs Smiley

Yes, you haven't been paid yet, the pay script was horribly broken so I'll fix that today and then open a new one. I just hope more betters come in on this one before we get a winner or I'm better off just giving the seed money away :p

Other than the fact the house looses too easily, this Pick 3 schema seems very interesting, so I think that as long as I can afford it, I'll keep it up.
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September 06, 2010, 09:58:43 AM
 #144

I think I won the pick 3, but I haven't been credited. If you seed the next one too I'll buy even more, it's a damn good deal right now.

Heh, congratulations! So it was you who took all my seed btcs Smiley

Yes, you haven't been paid yet, the pay script was horribly broken so I'll fix that today and then open a new one. I just hope more betters come in on this one before we get a winner or I'm better off just giving the seed money away :p

Other than the fact the house looses too easily, this Pick 3 schema seems very interesting, so I think that as long as I can afford it, I'll keep it up.

Cool, I hope it ends up being sustainable.

I'm going to do a little math and try to answer questions like "If one ticket is purchased every block what is the operator's expected value?"

I'll let you know if I get anything that might be of interest to you.

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September 06, 2010, 09:59:13 AM
 #145

I just noticed my winnings! Thanks.

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September 06, 2010, 10:18:16 AM
 #146

I did this quick, so no guarantees on accuracy.

If one ticket is purchased between every block the chance that you will break even or better (sell 200 tickets before a winner is chosen) is only .0068 = .68%

Half of the time you will sell more than 75 tickets and half of the time fewer.

Keep in mind the exact path of purchases does affect your expected outcomes. For example selling 3 every 3 blocks until a winner is found is better for you than 1 every one block.

Selling 2 every block gives you an 8% chance of breaking even or better.

tickets/block -- chance of even or better
3 -- 18.3%
4 -- 28.1%
5 -- 36.1%
6 -- 41.2%
7 -- 46.9%
8 -- 52.4%
10 -- 59.3%
15 -- 67.6%

Now this is not really the most relevant info. What you want is expected value. This is kind of like me telling you that in the game of Heads you win 10 and Tails you lose 1 you are 50% to break even or better; It is true but not the whole picture at all.

I've been drinking some, but maybe I can figure out an easy way to calculate or estimate that in a minute here.


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September 06, 2010, 11:05:21 AM
 #147

Again, this could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Kind of bad news:

If you seed 100BTC and take .5BTC per entry you need 7 tickets to be purchased between each block in order to profit by 1BTC/cycle. This seems quite an unlikely level to reach anytime soon.

And your upside isn't that great either. If you get to 20 tickets bought between each block you will profit only 66BTC/cycle. Though the cycle length will decrease by a lot, so maybe that isn't so bad.

Actually that is a pretty large redeeming quality. When you are bleeding money cycles will take much longer than when you are raking it in.

At 20 bought per block half of your cycles will last fewer than 16 blocks and 99% will last fewer than 40. So it would be a cash cow at that point or even a bit before.

Now if you drop your seed amount to 50BTC you can profit by 5BTC/cycle while only selling 2 tickets per block.

Selling 1 ticket per block will cost you less than 10BTC (the accuracy is bad on this one because of the long tail I'm cutting off), but 10BTC is the most -EV it could be.

If there are people who buy chunks all at once early this will help you too.

Ah, I just remembered that the pot is often rounded down a tad by the increments of 10 required to bump the pot. This is in your favor of course, but I am not going to redo the calcs right now.

So all things considered putting out 50BTC is probably going to be a very small outlay compared to putting out 100BTC which will be a loss until you get quite large interest. Obviously having a small seed amount will draw fewer players too, but I can't tell by how much and that is not accounted for here.

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September 06, 2010, 12:11:05 PM
 #148

Again, this could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Kind of bad news:

If you seed 100BTC and take .5BTC per entry you need 7 tickets to be purchased between each block in order to profit by 1BTC/cycle. This seems quite an unlikely level to reach anytime soon.

And your upside isn't that great either. If you get to 20 tickets bought between each block you will profit only 66BTC/cycle. Though the cycle length will decrease by a lot, so maybe that isn't so bad.

Actually that is a pretty large redeeming quality. When you are bleeding money cycles will take much longer than when you are raking it in.

At 20 bought per block half of your cycles will last fewer than 16 blocks and 99% will last fewer than 40. So it would be a cash cow at that point or even a bit before.

Now if you drop your seed amount to 50BTC you can profit by 5BTC/cycle while only selling 2 tickets per block.

Selling 1 ticket per block will cost you less than 10BTC (the accuracy is bad on this one because of the long tail I'm cutting off), but 10BTC is the most -EV it could be.

If there are people who buy chunks all at once early this will help you too.

Ah, I just remembered that the pot is often rounded down a tad by the increments of 10 required to bump the pot. This is in your favor of course, but I am not going to redo the calcs right now.

So all things considered putting out 50BTC is probably going to be a very small outlay compared to putting out 100BTC which will be a loss until you get quite large interest. Obviously having a small seed amount will draw fewer players too, but I can't tell by how much and that is not accounted for here.

Thank you! You saved me a bunch of number crushing, although I had the empirical feeling that the 100BTC seed was probably a bit too much. I'm not trying to get rich out of this, obviously, but I'd really rather not loose all my bitcoins to it either. As such, I'm going to seed the next few pick 3s at 50BTC, which seems like a great compromise. If we get a lot of people betting, great, if I'm in profit the seeds will increase. If I loose it all, well, tough, I'll just stick to the other lottery Smiley
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September 06, 2010, 01:07:05 PM
 #149

Glad to help. I think 50 is wise. It is important to keep projects from burning out so we can hit a critical mass of things to do and buy. Getting automated is a good step in that direction, I think you have the right idea.

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September 06, 2010, 01:20:34 PM
 #150

This is just getting silly Smiley

I can't automate the Pick if it closes in 6 blocks! Either this is just one of those really unlikely events that will probably not happen again, or I need to add another character to the bets...

I'm opening another one, and use this to exercise the 'give back bets that didn't get confirmation blocks'.
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September 06, 2010, 01:29:06 PM
 #151

This is just getting silly Smiley

I can't automate the Pick if it closes in 6 blocks! Either this is just one of those really unlikely events that will probably not happen again, or I need to add another character to the bets...

I'm opening another one, and use this to exercise the 'give back bets that didn't get confirmation blocks'.


I don't understand why you need to give back any bets.

Bets close block: 994 (any bet that is not in by this block is not in the draw.)
Winning number comes from block: 1000

Any bet in block 995-1994 gets included in the draw for block 2000



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September 06, 2010, 07:33:51 PM
 #152

This is just getting silly Smiley

I can't automate the Pick if it closes in 6 blocks! Either this is just one of those really unlikely events that will probably not happen again, or I need to add another character to the bets...

I'm opening another one, and use this to exercise the 'give back bets that didn't get confirmation blocks'.


I don't understand why you need to give back any bets.

Bets close block: 994 (any bet that is not in by this block is not in the draw.)
Winning number comes from block: 1000

Any bet in block 995-1994 gets included in the draw for block 2000





That would be annoying if someone was trying to play immediately and didn't want money locked up for a week, or if they were trying to be part of a big jackpot and the next one was small.

But that isn't what he's talking about, he means the pick 3.

I had bets canceled, does that mean it was won within 6 of my bet?

I say you turn off the wait of 6 and make only random bets accepted. Then no one can game it and you don't need refunds ever. It was not a fluke it will happen all the time if this gets big.

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September 06, 2010, 07:52:18 PM
 #153


I don't understand why you need to give back any bets.

Bets close block: 994 (any bet that is not in by this block is not in the draw.)
Winning number comes from block: 1000

Any bet in block 995-1994 gets included in the draw for block 2000

That would be annoying if someone was trying to play immediately and didn't want money locked up for a week, or if they were trying to be part of a big jackpot and the next one was small.

But that isn't what he's talking about, he means the pick 3.

Yep, exactly. No bets are returned on the lottery, as there is no wait period. Bets are not accepted within 6 blocks of draw.

I had bets canceled, does that mean it was won within 6 of my bet?

I say you turn off the wait of 6 and make only random bets accepted. Then no one can game it and you don't need refunds ever. It was not a fluke it will happen all the time if this gets big.

The reason for this is not to avoid people doing crazy things, but to prevent me, as the lottery operator, to cheat on the betters. There's a buffer of 6 blocks (roughly 1 hour) where you can download all the active bets, so if you take a snapshot of the bets every half hour (just to be safe) you can verify if I'm not putting false bets after the result block is known.

If people rather not have this wait period and just trust me, so be it, but I don't want to even have a chance of cheating, be it on purpose or due to bugs in the software. Also, if my time runs too short I may hand this over to someone else, but I'm a better myself so I'd rather be able to make sure that person will not even have the chance to cheat on me.

It's not I don't trust people, I just think that if trust is not an issue everything goes smoothly Smiley
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September 08, 2010, 10:57:26 AM
 #154

And another pick went by, another chunk of bitcoins removed from my personal wealth... Come on, people, we need critical mass here! Go on and bet!

On a side note, the payment for the pick was automated and a new one should had been created on the fly, but there was a small bug preventing that... should be good for the next one.
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September 08, 2010, 11:32:37 AM
 #155

Why doesn't the pick3 pot update quickly? I thought it was the 6 block thing, but I think it's been longer than that now.

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September 08, 2010, 12:04:06 PM
 #156

Why doesn't the pick3 pot update quickly? I thought it was the 6 block thing, but I think it's been longer than that now.

You can double check by looking at the details page. Under 'Total Bets' there is the count of confirmed bets, and the unconfirmed ones are gray and italic in the bet list (underlined if yours).

Right now there are 10 bets unconfirmed.
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September 08, 2010, 12:37:47 PM
 #157

Ah, cool, thanks for explaining.

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September 09, 2010, 06:50:16 PM
 #158

Ok, I'm done with Pick3, lost almost all of my coins on it... it worked out great... for other people.

So, say hello to Pick4. It's 1:65546 instead of 1:4096, maybe this way enough people will have time to bet. It's all about the number of betters,really. It seems that the bitpick didn't become the automatic success I thought it would be.

Also, I've been thinking about the lottery prizes and for the next one I'm getting rid of 1 hit prizes. 1 in 16 is just too easy and it dilutes the total pot too much... I'll run some numbers as for the new pool division percentages, but share your mind if you have an idea of what these should be.
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September 09, 2010, 07:18:13 PM
 #159

I'm a TAABL Luck Box! I keep putting in a few coins and hitting.

I don't understand the payouts. I thought:

Person A places 20 bets, pot is 20.
Person B places 50 bets, pot is 70.

But this doesn't seem to be the case, as the pot was 50 with zero bettors? I think I see your problem ;P

What is the house/charity edge?

Is there a way I can deposit 50btc, and auto-fund 10btc at a time when the pick 4 is hit? Otherwise, I have to keep checking when the lottery ends and resets to zero.

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September 09, 2010, 07:25:40 PM
 #160

I'm a TAABL Luck Box! I keep putting in a few coins and hitting.

Maybe you could give me your address and I can just send you all my coins, saving us both some trouble Wink

I don't understand the payouts. I thought:

Person A places 20 bets, pot is 20.
Person B places 50 bets, pot is 70.

But this doesn't seem to be the case, as the pot was 50 with zero bettors? I think I see your problem ;P

Yeah, I never got around to putting that in the rules page. There's an initial seed, which is free for all (is 50 currently), so if you bet 1, you can get 50.

Further bets will increment the pot 5 btc for every 10 bets. So 50% of the bets go to the pot.

There is a confirmation period for bets, and that is why you see 20 bets and a pot of 50. After 6 blocks (roughly one hour) the bets are confirmed and the pot raises by 10, moving to 60.

This confirmation period has nothing to do with bitcoin confirmation blocks. It's to make sure the total bets for a block are known an hour in advance so I can't just put in a known winning bet after the block comes out and cheat on everyone Smiley


What is the house/charity edge?

I get 50% of all bets minus the seed. So the theory is I can get a truckload of coins, and reality is I'm bleeding coins. The earnings I make on this, if I ever do so, will have an impact on the seeding of the next pick, so if I make 1000 coins, you'll see a much larger seed on the next pick, probably on the 500 coins area, so I can keep a buffer.


Is there a way I can deposit 50btc, and auto-fund 10btc at a time when the pick 4 is hit? Otherwise, I have to keep checking when the lottery ends and resets to zero.

Not right now, no. The auto betting feature is something I have on my to do list, but don't have time for... if there's generalized interest on this, please speak up.

Thank you for playing, and the (continuation of) best of luck to you.
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