This letter has been circulating around the office, enjoy!
Disclaimer: WE do not believe this to be true, but rather found it funny and wanted to share it with all of you!
Big Game Lottery Fraud
What are the odds of that?
Now it’s all in fine print if you’re a pretty good reader and search it all out with the help of your attorney. But don’t forget to invite your nerdy buddy and the mathematician to this party. Oh, and remember you will need a statistician too.
So what kind of get-together is this I am talking about? Well let me tell you, it’s hunting season and time to put in for the Oregon non-resident big game controlled hunt raffle. What could be so hard about that you might ask? The proclamation shows the various hunts you can put in for and includes an easy to follow form that you can fax, mail or email. Heck you can even pay with a credit card which is way easier than certified funds like the olden days in some states.
This is how I interpret it so let’s break it down into some of its simplest elements and see how we come out. Let’s say we are a trophy mule deer hunter and have decided to hunt in Oregon for the first time. Imagine we are rich enough to pay the fairly high price tag Oregon puts on his pursuit but not rich enough to hire an outfitter. Now remember this is just how I read it and you should probably check it out for yourself and arrive at your own conclusions.
First off it’s important to understand that only 5% of the total tags available can go to non-residents. Wow! That seems like a pretty low number, and it is when you figure it’s about ˝ of the amount of tags offered by adjoining states. If you think this is bad just hold on, it gets worse.
Next you have to account for 50% of those non-resident tags going to outfitters, now we are down to 2.5% of the total tags available being accessible to non-resident do-it-yourselfers. Pretty bad odds, but it gets worse.
75% of those non-resident tags go to guys that have applied in the past and have higher preference points than you do, and there are a bunch of those guys. Now we are down to 0.625% of the total tags available being accessible to first time, non-resident, non-guided, non-point holders. That’s awfully bad! But get the duck tape out for keeping your head together, it gets worse yet!
If the total number of tags is fairly low for a specific hunt unit there is actually a zero percent chance that a first time applicant can draw. In fact for 2010 it appears that over 90% of the available hunt units had a statistical probability of Zero (0%) chance of draw for first time applicants (Where does it say that in the regs?). The chance of getting hit by lightening or winning a Powerball lottery is much better than zero. If I had any sense I’d be getting upset by about now.
Alright but that’s not an absolute zero, you still could draw out the 0.625% on the remaining 8% which ups the odds overall to a whopping half of 1% (That’s half of a tag for every one hundred). Oh no! I think Oregon round ˝ of a tag down to…you guess it, ZERO!
To put it another way a first time non-resident applicant could unknowingly apply for hunts that statistically he never in his lifetime can have any chance of winning in this lottery unless the high point guys in front of him stop going for the good hunts. For some reason the word ‘pyramid’ keeps popping into my head. I am feeling awfully sorry for the low point and now point guys on the bottom. Of course this happens only if you do the research to find out which units I am talking about.
You might think that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would be kind enough to tell us about these really terrible odds before we bought in. Perhaps we should be notified that statistically we would never live long enough to win some of the hunts that are offered. Maybe they badly need the thousands of applicants’ $148.50 non-refundable fee for the big game lottery. Bonanza! That sounds like big business. I am surely not saying anything bad about the O.D.F.W. I am confident they are a swell bunch. Clearly they have had my support for many years, and a dear friend of mine works there. Perhaps the odds are just so complex it’s too tough to figure.
Oh yeah, I forgot that we are trophy hunters and the best hunts tend to have the lowest number of tags, and these available units probably don’t have trophies. So what is such a great tag worth? In 2010 the auction tag for mulies sold for up to $33,500. Now that’s a lottery prize worth putting in for!
Okay, I am in against all odds, after all its worth it right??? It’s 10 years later I have 10 points in this progressive lottery. So here I am, it’s 2011 and I want to hunt just one awesome spot in Oregon that my grandpa used to hunt. Unit 168A located in Trout Creek Mountains. I call in to the O.D.F.W. and darn, the outfitter gets the tag this year. In fact, approximately _% of hunts listed in the proclamation have no tags available for a non-guided, non-resident no matter how many points he has. There simply is no prize in this lottery if you happen to choose the wrong units.
My second choice is my dad’s favorite spot hunt number 170M, and this year, yahoo! There is a tag available. I come to find out that there is quite a bit of past interest in this spot; in fact, based upon past published statistics there are 12 guys wanting this tag with more points than me and another 26 guys with the same points as me. I figure I have to live 24 more years until I have a 1 in 26 shot. Heck, I won’t live that long! Just imagine… the guys in front of me could turn vegetarian. They could change their minds or they could become disgusted with this process and go for a low quality hunt. Not much chance of any of that happening as they are now vested for thousands of dollars in the Oregon progressive raffle. Oh, but I forgot to factor in attrition… just how does one calculate if I might outlive the big points guys? I should start taking better care of myself!
Good luck to you all,
Author: Happy By Nature (pen-name)
(Full-time Optimist & Part-time Hunter)
P.S. In year 2009 31 non-residents put in for hunt (#170M) which had zero non-guided tags. Do ya think they knew the odds?