IPs and Olympic tickets - Mr Hunt on the BBC

At the end of last month I posted up a brief bit of commentary which mulled on the idea that the Olympics ticket regime might give rise to some irresponsible behaviour in terms of people over extending themselves so as to be able to get hold of Olympics tickets. It was therefore with some surprise that I clocked Mr Stephen Hunt on the BBC Breakfast news this morning. He also appeared on the Today programme talking about the same issue, namely, the volume of tickets he has subscribed for, some £36,000 worth. Whilst his profession was not noted on the BBC Breakfast programme it has been mentioned on the website write up and was mentioned on the Today programme. Indeed, it seems as if John Humphreys (pictured) had read my post having in mind his first question! Perhaps Stephen will be the subject to test my hypothesis! At least he will be able to advise himself if the worst happens! 

Picture Credit: http://markmeynell.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/john-humphreys.jpg


Good evening John. I am sorry I spoiled your breakfast!

I suppose I did comprehensively reject your hypothesis and tested it to the full. I applied a little binomial distribution theory and worked out that, assuming a 10:1 ratio of applicants to tickets, after more than one or two applications the chances of being successful are soon in the fractions of one percent. I tested this by considering that if the odds were evens then in 20 applications you would expect on average to succeed in half of them so even then £36,000 would be unlikely to be at risk. Once I understood this it is not hard to take comfort in the numbers. Getting all 20 and paying £36k is 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 to one if they are oversubscribed an average of ten times. Even if I am out by a few zeros, I shall be fine.

Your original point only considered rash or hazardous speculation. This was neither, just the application of statistics.

My favourite part of the old s.362 (and is the same in sch 4A) is that it makes it a criminal offence of gambling and losing but if you won then no offence was committed.

I shall keep you posted on what tickets I get if any.
Your story has gone viral!

Do let us know about the result. I am awaiting news on some fencing tickets. Fingers crossed!