Aug 15, 2011

Fixing It: Derby Buzz

The Problem:

Horse racing needs a marketing gimmick to boost worldwide interest in its premier event, the Kentucky Derby, as a small part of its need to expand the sport's declining fan base.

The Fix:

Create a guaranteed mega jackpot contest for picking the complete order of finish for the Derby. A suitable figure might be $100 million for each and every winner.

The Logic:

Money talks. Raises interest amongst the 'lottery' crowd. Creates huge buzz.

The Math:

The chances of correctly predicting the complete order of finish of this race (which is typically 14 runners) are astronomically high. Doing it strictly as a number picking exercise (ie., without handicapping), the calculation goes like this:
- 14x13x12x11x10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1 = 87,178,291,200

The resulting figure (87+billion : 1) is far beyond the suggested $100 million payout(s), therefore the contest could be insured for a reasonable premium. That premium becomes a marketing expense for the industry.

Now, if the industry only had an empowered, funded and centralized organization that would take ownership of such an initiative...


Dior said...

Nice tie.

The Ghost of Diamond Jim Brady said...

Is that math right? I guess it is. But I flunked HS math. So WTF do I know. It just seems huge. Like that fat obnoxious guy on the television commericals. HUGE. Do you think he's doing the girl with him in those? I do.

But back to the post. The bet would have to go thru the usual channels, which means race tracks or phone or internet accounts. So that puts up a roadblock to getting new people into the game with their new found interest. Right? They don't have phone-in accounts, and the race track is the last place on earth they want to go to.

Right? Right? Right?

Nanoburgh? said...

Diamond Jim:

Good points; you are obviously well versed in the matter.

Now why do I need to be the one doing all the thinking around here? Huh? Huh? Tell me!

Here's the counter:

Figure out a way to do it thru the multi-state mega lottery. True, that isn't the whole nation, but it's a start.

A dirty little secret of NYS Lottery is this: they take a 50% cut. We thought the takeout at the track was obscene? Yikes.

So, with a 50% takeout, there's enough vig (to use the old underworld term) to still kick the 15 to 25% back to the racing industry that it normally gets via a direct setup.

The infrastructure is thereby in place for this wager to be sold at every existing Lottery terminal location. Those location would still get their vendor cuts (again: the huge takeout).

Yeah, yeah, I know: there are complications such as this wager being more a game of skill vs. a game of chance, etc, etc.

But heck: they figured out a way of getting around the NYS consitutional ban on gambling by pretending VLT racinos are casinos--- so there's plenty of room for some creative thinkers somewhere to figure out a workaround here on this one.

Now get to work on it.

Anonymous said...

I can't pick the winner. I'm supposed to pick all 14 now?