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Math formula question

  1. #1
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    Math formula question

    I'm going to put this into an Excel sheet, but I don't need the answer in Excel format, so it fits in this topic

    I'm good in math, but for some reason this formula is evading me.

    If there are three contests, how would I figure out which one would give me the best "Bang for my buck"? More specifically, assuming the only variables are the number of entries, the entry fee, and the grand prize, where would I be best putting my money?

    So let's assume the following:

    Contest A -- 1,000 entrants, $.25 entry fee, Top Prize = $500
    Contest B -- 800 entrants, $.50 entry fee, Top Prize = $500
    Contest C -- 500 entrants, $1.00 entry fee, Top Prize = $750

    It's easy to calculate the odds of winning (1 out of X entrants), or in the case of Contest A, 0.1%. I just want to figure out if I'm going to wager $5, would I be better off with 20 entries into "A", 10 entries into "B", or 5 entries into "C"? It's driving me batty that the gerbils in my head can't figure this out!

    Thanks a bunch!

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    Forum Expert Crooza's Avatar
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    Re: Math formula question

    Isn't it as simple as working out the return per equivalent entries?

    If you use the highest common multiple being $1 then Scenario A has 4 equivalent entries for $1 (0.25 x 4 = $1), Scenario B has 2 equivalent entries and scenario C has one equivalent entry.

    If you use the equivalent entries then Scenario A gives a probability of 4/1000 multiplied by the prize of $500 = $2 / equivalent entry. Likewise Scenario B and C give $1.25 (2/800 x 500) per equivalent entry and $1.5 (1/500 x 750) per equivalent entry. The numbers themselves don't give you much except which is the better rated. Scenario A provides a greater return for outlay than C then B.

    Or have I got this completely wrong!!
    Last edited by Crooza; 03-09-2020 at 08:50 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Math formula question

    No, you're right. I knew it was very simple, but for some reason I couldn't wrap my head around it.

    Very simply, figure out how much it would cost to buy every entry, and then compare that cost to the grand prize.

    Thanks!

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