Intrade’s VP Scoop–We’ll See

I am paying attention because I sense Intrade is insightful.

The New York Observer’s website has “Intrade Loves Pawlenty’s Chances” as a headline this evening.

What kind of day has Tim Pawlenty had? The kind where your value on the Intrade Republican vice-presidential future markets shoots up by more than 50 points — while your chief opponent’s stock plummets by 31. The Minnesota governor is now trading roughly where Joe Biden was just before word of his selection by Barack Obama broke.

I don’t know a lot about Tim Pawlenty. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t know anything about Tim Pawlenty. However, I am paying attention because I sense Intrade is insightful. It’s a conversation I had online last night with my friend Farrell. Intrade now has Tim Pawlenty as the prohibitive favorite to be John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.

We’ll know more tomorrow or over the weekend. Can you beat the wisdom of crowds? In the Internet era, can 60 million Frenchmen still be wrong?

In A Super Bowl Pool? Me Too.

A week or so ago, one of our photographers at work came by with a sheet of paper and fistful of cash. It was time to pick boxes for the Super Bowl pool.

In case you’re not a football or pool fan, here’s how it works. A grid of boxes, 10×10, is drawn. You pick a box and hand over your cash. In this pool it’s $5 per square or $500 total.

Once all the boxes are chosen, digits are assigned to each row and column. So, the third row might be “8” and the sixth column… well it could be “8” too, or any other number! Then the rows and columns are assigned to the two teams.

When all was said and done, I was assigned 6 for the Bears and 6 for the Colts. If any quarter ends with both teams scores ending with a “6” (like 16 to 6 or 46 to 26), I win some cash.

The payoffs get progressively bigger as the game goes on. The winner of the 4th quarter (final score) gets $250.

I figured “6” has to be about the least likely number possible. Even worse, since games can’t end tied, 6 and 6 becomes less likely to show in the 4th quarter.

Are there stats for this? Hey – this is the Internet era. Of course there are stats!

Of all the quarters played in all the games this season, 6 and 6 showed up twice.

I thought I made a bet. I actually made a donation.