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Author Topic: Probabilities for being a winner. Back to Topics
Satelite2013

Rookie Author
Miami

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 10:35:38 PM

Hello, I wonder how many users are there on this site and what is the probability of being a winner.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Points:743,950
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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 11:17:28 PM

Hey Bluebell, I think you clicked the wrong forum accidentally. It looks like you were looking for the JFF forum.
You can find it here: Just For Fun
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 2:45:34 PM

Yep, just as some states have more members and thus show up on the list more often than a state with few members.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,981
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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 2:38:11 PM

Each week, there are more new-member tickets in the drawing than old-member tickets, so it's not surprising that there are more of the former among the winners.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,021
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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 7:42:15 AM

No, Mover, each ticket counts the same. New members can buy more tickets if they use all their "tell someone" points the first week, but older members can bank and dump copious numbers of tickets that they save up for a big bang entry. Still, each ticket has the same chance.

Also, over time people come and go from the site. Old members fade away and new members join, old members may even stop bothering to enter the contest. Members may leave for a year or more and then something triggers them to come back but don't remember their screen name and start over with a new one.

Each ticket has the same chance.
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Mover
Champion Author Las Vegas

Posts:18,668
Points:3,999,675
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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 1:33:35 AM

the drawing seem to slant to new members mayeb they feel its a way to keep those that are new and have very few points
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HeavyDuty_cache
Champion Author Omaha

Posts:15,065
Points:2,956,885
Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Aug 27, 2013 12:32:53 AM

Everyone is a winner if they find the lowest fuel price available, thanks to their fellow drivers posting prices. Winning the $250 in free gas is just a bonus and the more points you earn the more chances you have at winning that bonus.
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DiannaFan
Champion Author Utah

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Joined:May 2012
Message Posted: Aug 3, 2013 10:19:46 PM

To make a guess at how many people are using GB at any particular time, I use the votes on the poll. Assuming I have roughly the same number of tickets as the average user (I would guess maybe a bit more than average in my case, but whatever) that gives a roughly 1 in 20,000 chance of winning the gas cards. Not great odds, but it would be nice if it happens. But hey, it's a free chance and as bytebug said we win by using the site.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2013 9:45:56 PM


I think scrapheap had it right when he stated:

"You also have to take into account how many tickets are being earned and entered into the drawing. Whenever this topic comes up, I look at the reported price board and notice that there are far more low point total members reporting prices than high point total members. The winner board distribution looks an awful lot like the reported prices distribution."

GB probably has a high degree of turnover. New members join all the time, probably enticed by the drawing, stay and update prices for awhile, then become disillusioned and disappear. So there is a tendency to have more new members than long-time members in each drawing.
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wazoo
Champion Author Twin Cities

Posts:15,765
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Message Posted: Aug 3, 2013 10:20:31 AM

I have never won....and I have been here for a very long time!
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:22,981
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Message Posted: Aug 2, 2013 4:31:13 AM

The probability of you winning is the number of tickets you submit, divided by the total number of tickets in the pool. That's not so hard.

I think it would be nice to know the number of tickets, either while making the purchase decision or after the drawing has concluded, but if the moderators would rather not reveal it on a regular basis, I'm OK with that, too.

beachguy46, you can view the list of winners. If they're all related to the GasBuddy staff, then that clan must be as prolific as Dot Polka's.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 7:12:22 PM

@ beachguy "I agree, it appears none of us who aren't related to someone at GB will ever win on GB."

Seriously? I really don't believe that. I do believe that there is a small chance of winning, but we win every day here by knowing the best prices around.
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ds2dale
Rookie Author California

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Message Posted: Aug 1, 2013 6:06:01 PM

So, what it boils down to is: GB.com isn't going to tell us anything about the inner workings of the drawing. How many tickets are being held by how many users for any given drawing. Or the average number of entries on the third Sunday of the month. Etc., etc.

Anything posted of these fora (forums?) is pure speculation. Don the moderator often adds 0.02 to clarify a point and I notice that he's conspicuously silent on this subject.
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easydriver11
Champion Author Cape Coral

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Message Posted: Jul 24, 2013 5:42:26 AM

slim n none
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2013 12:26:49 PM

Max, you are right in what you're saying.

What I am saying is that there SEEMS to be a statistical advantage by looking at the only data that is available; the winners' list. I was in no way relating that to the actual (and unknown) probability of being a winner.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2013 12:08:21 PM

You might be right Plastic. Can you please explain what you mean by the term "statistical advantage" and how that effects is the probability of being a winner?

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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

Posts:10,835
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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2013 11:55:09 AM

You have a higher probability of being a winner if you just keep on signing up for accounts every day as you can get the bonus points and extra ticket.
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 23, 2013 10:43:17 AM

Aw, max, you edited your comment to be even more sarcastic. Your original version at least made it look like you had a clue. Oh well :)

It might help to read the words that are visible instead of mixing it with other notions.

[Edited by: plastic at 7/23/2013 10:45:00 AM EST]
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 11:06:53 PM

I don't know how many active members there are, nor how many of those enter the drawing each week. Some folks enter as the get the points, some bank them for a big bolus of tickets, and some never bother to enter.
The odds for any particular entry is the same for any other entry. There is no bias for a ticket FROM a certain state or a ticket from a "newer member". There is a statistical bias based on the number of users in each "class" (home state/site, east or west, or color of car). There is likely more members with brown cars than those with the top red vehicle as the site grew dramatically since the early birds that have reached the top car, and over time folks may drop off the site.

EACH ticket has EQUAL chance compared to any OTHER ticket entered.

Don't hold your breath waiting to win - it is a bonus if you do. The real value of the site is the day to day knowledge of the best prices around you. And that comes from helping out your fellow members by posting accurate prices regardless of point value or stupid APPS awards.
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Satelite2013
Rookie Author Miami

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 7:24:06 PM

I can not really have an opinion but yours are very interesting.
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 6:18:32 PM

Sure Plastic. Whatever you want to believe.



[Edited by: maxstar at 7/22/2013 6:23:19 PM EST]
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 6:12:22 PM

>"No need Plastic.."

Good. Glad you get it now. :)
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 5:39:42 PM

No need Plastic, that was your response on why you thought a new member has a statistical advantage to win over the rest of us.

Plastic: As a new member, you seem to have a statistical advantage to win over the rest of us. Good luck!

Maxstar: How so plastic?

Plastic: Do a statistical observation of the winners and you'll see, maxstar. Newer members have a greater occurrence in the winner list.
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 5:03:34 PM

>"That will tell you nothing about the chances of a particular ticket winning."

Very true. I never said that it would. Would you like me to explain or should I let you go back and re read?
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 4:50:13 PM

Plastic wrote: "Do a statistical observation of the winners and you'll see, maxstar. Newer members have a greater occurance in the winner list."

That will tell you nothing about the chances of a particular ticket winning.
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 22, 2013 3:13:40 PM

kzwh: "plastic, I think that's like saying that right-handed people have an advantage because most of the winners so far have been right-handed."

Not exactly because we have no indication that right-handers make up a majority of the winners' list. Yes, right-handers are a majority of the population so you could probably say that and be right but if you look at the list, there are a lot of newer members.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2013 10:04:48 AM

plastic wrote > Do a statistical observation of the winners and you'll see, maxstar. Newer members have a greater occurance in the winner list.

You also have to take into account how many tickets are being earned and entered into the drawing. Whenever this topic comes up, I look at the reported price board and notice that there are far more low point total members reporting prices than high point total members. The winner board distribution looks an awful lot like the reported prices distribution.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2013 9:33:34 AM

The point totals for those with 35k or more are known. In Columbus, I'd say I see nearly as many price posts fron folks with under 35k as I do from those on that local list. An awful lot are drawn here by high prices, check it out, post prices for a few days and then go away, possibly after they enter the drawing and lose a couple of times? They are replaced by more newbies. Some may even figure out that you can get one ticket without posting any prices each week, as was discussed in another thread a few months ago. I think that probably explains, at least in part, the seeming anomoly that Maxstar points to.

The fact is we don't know how many enter each week, much less anything about their relative point totals. The only information we have is the ID of the winner. So we are left to draw inferences from that.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2013 9:32:34 AM

...different level "cars" not "cards"

Sigh.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2013 8:12:49 AM

There are probably more with <1,000,000 than >1,000,000 let alone ~3,000,000 or more. And, I suspect more "newer" members bother entering the draw than those with very high point levels. The winner board has a smattering of different level cards. I seriously doubt there they give more weight to newbie tickets than others.

Same as with locations, there are a lot more members per "site" for some sites than other sites (and density of stations to report). Those living in rural areas may not get their 5 price points per day - even those living in more urban areas. For instance, I pass one station a day on my 24 mile commute. By the time I get to a safe place to report the price, it often was updated by someone else 1 minute ago (after my spotting 5-10 minutes ago, or longer if reporting from the Website when I get to home).
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 20, 2013 6:13:27 AM

plastic, I think that's like saying that right-handed people have an advantage because most of the winners so far have been right-handed.
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ziyulu
Champion Author Austin

Posts:10,835
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2013 1:38:37 PM

Find the total number of members, and manually add the total number of points of all the members, divide by 1,000 and then take the number of points you have and divide by 1,000. Put your number on the numerator and the total number on the denominator and that will be your probability. Easy to calculate.
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:47,692
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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2013 1:34:33 PM

Do a statistical observation of the winners and you'll see, maxstar. Newer members have a greater occurance in the winner list.

[Edited by: plastic at 7/19/2013 1:35:39 PM EST]
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2013 11:00:54 AM

How so plastic?
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plastic
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 19, 2013 10:26:55 AM

As a new member, you seem to have a statistical advantage to win over the rest of us. Good luck!
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alp
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Jul 18, 2013 11:52:05 PM

I'm here just to post prices and get points for the heck of it, but I did win the gas cards once a few years ago. I don't enter often, but maybe once a year I dump a lot of points at once. Doesn't really make my chances any better, but what the heck.
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Satelite2013
Rookie Author Miami

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2013 11:47:23 PM

Thank you all for your comments, I apologize for my writing, This is the first time I write on a forum, but thanks to you I am learning how to. It is really good to read your opinions.
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buckeyecountry
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2013 6:30:13 PM

Slim and none and slim just left town.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2013 1:39:05 PM

The chances of you winning are Whitman to Deckers.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2013 11:44:53 AM

I agree with Gas_Buddy's general statement about subject matter, but I can excuse this minor deviation from the topic as being a legitimate response from the OP to the numerous posts that merely advise to be content with posting prices for the benefit of folks you mostly don't know. Essentially, the OP is responding: Since we're talking about pennies, is it really worthwhile?

My take to that question is a qualified yes. Start with the premise that all gas stations listed in the MSL for any site are in it for profit, a safe bet I think. It would be the rare user who could benefit directly from every posted price. Still, the overall price boards, which I refer to as the "bargain" and "gouger" boards in our local forum, serve to provide a buyer with the range of prices they might expect to find if they need gas, and just a glance might allow them to select a route that would be more likely to yield lower prices at no appreciable cost to the buyer. And with the stations operating for profit, sometimes prices fall penny by penny due to competition.

Within each website's geographic area, there are numerous subsets. Possibly sides of a city, possibly suburbs, possibly one or more small towns. The site offers the ability to design searches to find stations in those areas and to save searches for ones in which someone often finds themselves.

Assuming rationale consumer behavior, a buyer is not going to be willing to drive miles out of their way to save a penny per gallon. But they might deviate a half mile to save 25¢ on a 20 gallon fill up. And they might think of something else they could do on the different route, saving time and gas for an errand they would have undertaken later. And around here, anyway, prices are very volatile. 10 days ago, I was posting about prices in the 3 digits, and now we're seeing prices in the 3.80s on top of the gouger board, with low prices under 3.50, a range of about 40¢. The point being, you never know when the difference of a penny will turn into more. Plus, it keeps prices on the board fresh.

Finally, just as there are folks who would rather pay an accountant more than they will save in taxes, there is no shortage of folks who refuse to pay more cents per gallon to a station for gas than they absolutely have to, even if they lose money over all in the process. That's irrational, and maybe we can't feel real good about helping them, but if it helps their peace of mind, I don't care so much.



[Edited by: SUVFan at 7/17/2013 11:47:31 AM EST]
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 10:12:28 PM

As this topic already has subject matter, that asking the probability of winning a gas card, the "Now I have got another similar topic for you, and I would like your experiences to be written here" should be asked in a new topic.

Adding a completely new subject to the original topic will only confuse people posting to this thread, and will not entice members (reading the original topic name) to discuss a new subject brought up in the middle of discussion.

However, as the question has been asked by the original poster, "As differences among gas stations are about cents, and in most of the cases a few of them, does it really work being looking the lowest price?", yes, it really works looking for the lowest price as long as you (the member) realize that the lowest price available might not be the lowest price after factoring travel costs to a more distant gas station; it's entirely possible (for that matter, probable) that a driver would save money by paying a higher price at a gas station closer to where they are, and by not driving out of their way to get the "lowest price".

Much of buying gas "at the lowest price", considering that most drivers only buy 600 or so gallons per year, is generally a "feel good" response to seeing and paying for prices that are prominently posted for all drivers and pedestrians to see with minimum effort. When you consider what a driver pays for a car, plus financing, what most people pay for cell phone and/or texting plans, what most people pay for their home entertainment systems and/or cable and/or internet and/or their new tablet or laptop, etc., what they pay for for "a cup of Starbucks", and their not buying each and everything at the lowest possible cost, driving to save pennies per gallon is "feel good" more than significant. In my opinion. But, as this website has proven over the years, people care about saving a few cents per gallon.

Now, back to the original topic, how many users are on Gas Buddy and what is the probability of winning (which was pretty much answered by bytebug)...
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Satelite2013
Rookie Author Miami

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:49:36 PM

I like your comment "bytebug"
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Satelite2013
Rookie Author Miami

Posts:66
Points:20,620
Joined:Jul 2013
Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:46:12 PM

I really agree money or prices are not the reason to be here. The site is funny and interesting, besides that you learn in the news and practice your language, that is my case. But the topic sounded interesting to me and it is wonderful when I read your opinions. Now I have got another similar topic for you, and I would like your experiences to be written here. As differences among gas stations are about cents, and in most of the cases a few of them, does it really work being looking the lowest price? I mean, considering that we are always very busy and if you are only saving some cents, does it really work?
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:46:11 PM

I win every time I fill up!
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Satelite2013
Rookie Author Miami

Posts:66
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 6:43:10 PM

hi, thanks you all for your answers and help, I will comment again on this point later.
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SUVFan
Champion Author Columbus

Posts:244,044
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 12:50:08 PM

>Your odds are comparable to the lottery. <

I suppose that depends on the game? The odds are certainly better than the big prize games, which are hundreds of millions to one for the top prize.

Unfortunately, the site has never shared (as far as I know) the number of entries it receives each week or on an average basis. The number of poll votes suggests about 20,000, plus or minus 2,000, make it here each week, but tells you nothing about each day. The consecutive day list tells you that more than 4,000 members have made it in every day for 211 or more days, but not how many points they get. The 30 day list tells you that north of 10,000 post 5 prices every day, with a third or more of those nearly maxing out, for the last month and the 6 month lists provide the similar info for those periods.

You improve your chances of winning by posting 5 messages anytime you're here and by posting 5 gas prices each of those days, as well as clicking on 5 articles, and being sure to vote in each weekly poll. It all can be done in several minutes, maybe even less.

But nothing tells you how many points are converted to entries. So far, I've never entered the prize contest and I suspect many others have not entered either, making it even harder to gauge.

But entries cost only moments of your time, and in addition to having an uncertain shot at $250 worth of gas, you get the satisfaction of knowing you've tried to help someone else find a cheaper gas price. Plus, you might learn something useful from the articles or some of the discussion threads. Or you might just find posting in the just for fun area to be just that.

Enjoy the site!
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:95,493
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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 8:20:33 AM

You will win when you win. Your odds are comparable to the lottery.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:22:08 AM

Number of users is meaningless...even number of active users. The question might be how many entries are received each week and how much it varies from week to week.
Still, if the gas card LOTTO is all you are here for, you will be disappointed and leave in fairly short order.
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2013 6:11:21 AM

Total number of users on the site is meaningless, because so many drop out shortly after joining, without requesting that their account be deleted. For many purposes, number of users with at least 35000 points is a good approximation of the number of active users -- this figure isn't posted anywhere but can be computed by searching the leader boards on all of the associated sites (which is more work than it's worth). Another way to get a ballpark estimate is to see how many members are responding to the weekly poll.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2013 10:57:56 PM

Probability is about like getting hit by lightning unless you live in FL - then it is probably worse. ;-) (Speaking from the lightning capital)
Some folks never enter, some enter as the accrue points and other hold and build for a "big bang" entry. The number of entries can vary from week to week...and you can pretty much say it is the "luck of the draw" ;-)
Must of us here longer than a month or two are here for the value of the information on gas prices and not for the prize.
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