Yesterday I was showing students how to improve their odds at the Lucky Case Game. Today I realized they can’t play because they’re not old enough. Oops. You have to be 18.

So today I put a notice on the board forbidding them to play. (And they always read and comply with the notices on the board!) So if you are 18 or older continue reading to find out how to “beat the house” on the Lucky Case Game.

First of all, you should never use your cell phone to enter. They charge 99 cents per text message. You can enter 10 times online for free at Deal or No Deal.

About halfway through the show they display a bar graph showing the numbers that the rest of America is choosing. (Which is somewhat presumptuous–assuming that all of America is watching and entering the contest.) The key to improving your odds is in this bar graph. There is usually a number that is being chosen less often. I recommend waiting until you see this bar graph and then entering 10 times and choose the number(s) the “rest of America” is not picking.

Two things have to happen to win the 10,000 dollar prize. One, they have to pick the same number you choose. The probability of that happening is 1 out of 6. Two, they have to randomly select you out of the millions of people that chose that number. If ten million people chose that number the probability of picking you is 1 out of ten million. When these two probabilities are multiplied the final probability is 1 out of 60 million. If you pick the number that only 1 million people choose your odds become 1 out of 6 million. That’s 10 times more likely!

Okay I won’t be retiring in order to spend more time playing the lucky case game.

Update: I now have a Squidoo lens dedicated to Deal or No Deal.