Bingo is ‘Best Bet Says Mathematician

A few years ago a Cambridge University mathematician claimed that gamblers should play bingo for the best chance at becoming a newly minted millionaire. Dr Oliver Johnson said that the UK’s national bingo game gives players a 200,00 to 1 chance of becoming a millionaire, significantly better than the odds offered by the national lottery. Other more well-known roads to becoming a millionaire such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Were more likely to be unsuccessful for would be millionaires.

To illustrate the odds Dr. Johnson figured out the odds on a £10 bet placed at various gambling venues. Camelot’s national lottery offered odds aof1.4 million to 1 to win a million pounds. ITV1’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Quiz show ITV1’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Although skill based offered the worst odds of all at 1.5 million to 1. By Doctor Johnson’s calculations taking a chance on the national bingo’s holiday game could mean that players were eight times as likely of winning the cash than if they had played the popular television quiz game. The national bingo game takes place when the nation’s bingo halls are linked up for a special nationwide game.

Sports betting came in just behind bingo offering odds of 247,596 to 1 towards becoming a millionaire. Football pools provided odds of 639,685 to 1. Sports and football betting does involve a certain amount of skill and research to be successful. Dr. Johnson said that his calculations did not take skill or judgment into consideration although those factors may be present in some forms of gambling. Dr. Johnson stated “Certain assumptions have to be made to arrive at these results, but they are broadly accurate.”

Johnson said that his calculations for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Were relatively easy because there there had been 38 million calls, 600 people in the theatre and three winners. The bingo odds were calculated on the basis of estimated by bingo operators who estimated that 200,000 bingo tickets would be purchased for the national game with a million pound prize. Johnson told BBC reporters “Bingo represented the best value among all the bets, giving a better chance than all the others.”

Dr. Johnson also told reporters he had given up gambling after several unsuccessful attempts. Johnson said “All these games are based on chance and nothing you will do can ever guarantee success.” The odds calculated by Johnson are as follows;

Bingo 200,000-1
Sport betting 247,596-1
Football pools 639,685-1
Lotto 1.4m-1
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 1.5m-1