Sunday, 19 June 2011

Olympics update

Just a quick post to provide an update on the results of my Olympic ballot entry. You probably sensed in my previous post that entering the Olympic ballot has been a rollercoaster of emotions, and that trend has continued. First, there was the delay to the start of taking payment, then the painful wait until payment was taken, and then further disappointment/elation depending on how much (if any) money disappeared from your account.

On the 31 of May, we were debited for £216 (£210 tickets, £6 postage). This equates to 7.63% of the possible total value that we applied for. In the face of lots of friends getting nothing, I should have been grateful, but initially I was pretty unimpressed as I'd psyched myself up for taking a two week holiday and going to loads of events.

May threatened for a little while to sit down and write a program to work out all possible combinations of tickets that could add up to £210, but in the end she settled down and quietly did it by hand. She sat quietly at the table processing and analysing, emitting the occasional "oooh" or "ahhh!" with each revelation. By the time she'd finished, she'd generated the 86 possible combinations and looked very pleased with herself.

Her findings have shown the following:
  • We have either three (67% likely) or four (33%) pairs of tickets.
  • We definitely don't have tickets to: opening ceremony, men's basketball final or men's synchronised 10m diving final.
Yesterday we took a look at the post-ballot availability list to see if any of the events we've applied for were under-subscribed (with the assumption being if they haven't sold out, we should definitely have a ticket). Unfortunately, all of the events we applied for are sold out, so no further narrowing is possible.

Below is a table showing the probability of each event based on the 86 combinations of possible tickets:

The most interesting part for me is the grouping of events all at 6.98%, as these include: men's 100m final, men's team pursuit final, men's 5000m final and the women's floor exercise final. When combined, there's a 34.9% chance that we have one event from that group, which means we might have something truly amazing. The Olympic emotions rollercoaster is atop a peak again, and will hopefully thunder euphorically to the end of the ride once our final confirmation email arrives.

Only 5 more days to wait until we know for sure.

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