February 4th, 2007


An interesting and possibly original tournament format

1) A slightly belated happy birthday to hmtriplecrown for yesterday. :-) Poop, I got the wrong month. Happy birthday to jaq, for today, February 5th. :-D

2) BA and Virgin are having competing fare sales at the moment, at least for UK customers and possibly for overseas ones as well. The British Airways one runs until midnight on Tuesday 6th February; the Virgin Atlantic one, typically £1 cheaper, runs until 10pm on the same day. (Strangely, it seems that Virgin put its fare sale on first, BA responded and Virgin responded to BA with an extra level of even deeper discounts on a few flights.) It's interesting to clearly see how the date of the flight affects the price, in any case, so we can identify "low", "shoulder" and "peak" seasons for flight pricing schedules in general.

3) It looks like we're moving house! We have already been served a notice to quit our rented apartment by 18th March, so that part isn't in doubt, but it looks like we have a house to move into. Actually, if you'd asked me this on Tuesday, I'd have said "it looks like we have a bungalow to move into", but our application fell through for no fault of our own when the house purchase chain that the would-have-been landlord fell apart. I don't want to say too much about it for fear of jinxing the process, but the place we hope to move into is very pleasant and surprisingly large; it comes furnished and gives the impression that we're house-sitting for someone rather than that we're the suckers paying someone to make their buy-to-let investment work. The downsides are that we may only have it for about a year (see "house-sitting" above) and that some of the stairs squeak, but these are small downsides indeed to a large number of upsides. More, under appropriate Friends-lock, when we move in.

4) I have a note saying "Date" here on my list of things to post about. What the heck did I mean by "Date"? I have no clue.

In any case, there is a EuroMillions lottery draw this Friday with a guaranteed jackpot prize pool of €100,000,000 (£66,000,000 or so) which must be paid out and cannot rollover, being distributed to the non-jackpot prizes if necessary. The guaranteed prize pool means that it is not possible to use the size of the jackpot to estimate how many tickets are in play, so it'll be slightly harder than usual to work out how much really is being added and thus to work out whether it's a +EV draw to enter or not, but it is clearly less -EV than the no-rollover draw it replaces. I leave working out the constraint as to when the draw becomes +EV to enter, depending upon the denomination of entry fee, as an exercise for the interested reader.

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