[rc5] The prize money....EOT.

Stuart Anthony denitto at llamas.net
Fri Oct 24 12:37:50 EDT 1997

On Fri, 24 Oct 1997, Jeff Woods wrote:

> At 02:13 AM 10/24/97 +0100, you wrote:
> >I didn't start running the RC5-56 client with any thought of the money at
> >all.  To my mind, the odds on winning are so slight that I might as well
> >bet on the dogs.
> Your odds would be FAR better betting on the dogs.   (But the inDUHviduals
> don't know that the true odds of them finding the key were worse than the
> average Lotto).

Ok, I'll just step back in here so I can, well... nevermind...

Let say there were 2^56 tickets for the "Bovine" lotto. (heheh)
Each block contained 2^28 tickets. 

Well, after all the hoopla, I'll use Team Beerths as my first example.
We completed .05% of the keyspace.  Add 2 zeros... and you get .0005 of
the entire space, 42.3 trillion tickets.  

So even with 42.3 trillion tickets, our odds were 1:1703 that we'd win.

Not bad for 109th place.  But then you have to look at the expected
return.  I can only estimate how many $ of machinery went into this, but I
will put this in terms of K5-166's, the $/key winner... I can find a
barebone K5-166 machine in Computer shopper for $599... so somewhere near
$800 "nicely equipped".  Running linux, I should be able to get
~398Kkeys/sec...  42.3 trillion keys would take 5 of those the 250 days we
spent cracking.  So thats a $1000 prize with 1:1703 odds costing $4000 as
an "Entry Fee".  Which means that I could estimate a -$4 return on my

I could buy 1000 Pick 3 tickets and expect to get back $500.  That's just
a -$.50 return. And even if I only bought 1 Pick 3 ticket, my odds are
vastly better, a single 1:1000 chance.  Now if I bought a ticket per day
for 4000 days, I'd expect to win 4 times, and get $2000 back.  

I don't ever think Joe InDUHvidual will even look at a $10,000 prize.  To
String out the lottery example, there's a "Fantasy 5" in florida.
Generally, for a single winner, these pay out 200K+.  And even if you
don't win, you do get $$$ if you pick 4/5 and 3/5, with the challenge, you
only get money if you win. And these lottery prizes grow because the
number of people that play.  Ours doesn't.  10K is the top prize, unless
theres other corporations that would want to put some money on the line
too.  Perhaps when Distributed.net gets fully listed as a non-profit
organization, we might be able to sway prize money from someone, but I
don't see that happening, either.

It's a matter of morals.  I feel better knowing that my effort went to
help donate money to a good cause.  THAT, IMO, is what should be side-sold
with the prize money... "Win $1000 and help donate money to Project
Gutenberg".  I think that part of our charitability will go further to
even sway money from the trees of corporate america.  To know that at
least 80% and if not 90% of funds donated as prize money would still go to
a good cause might be what does get us that extra money.  

Well, now I feel purged, like after a good rant while yelling at assinine
drivers on the capital beltway.

On a Side Note: 

Anyone want to have a DC RC5 party... talk ta me. :)


The cows are tromping all over America. Cows can replicate. They're
being born all over the world. There's plenty of beef available!
		-- US Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca)

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