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The maths of the Wheel (probability/odds)  XML
The Simpsons: Tapped Out  > Game Discussion
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Joined: 10/25/2013 19:09:33
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Ok so there have been complaints that the 'wheel is rigged', that its a cash grab, that its how EA makes its money etc, but I honestly don't think its the case, and I'll explain why, hopefully with a minimal wall of text.

There are lots of people saying 'Oh the wheel is great I got lots of great prizes'

Where we have others saying 'I keep getting money instead of prizes, the wheel is dumb/rigged'

Obviously, it all comes down to how much money is on the wheel.

My belief is that all the newish players who weren't around last year, are cleaning up on the wheel and loving it, because they probably started out with no money on the wheel, and as each prize was won then slowly those prizes were replaced with cash.

For older players who were here last Christmas and have all the Christmas lights, and/or who already bought premium items like Mr Plow etc, well those prizes are replaced by money on the wheel, and thus these players have a vastly increased chance of spinning up cash rather than a worthwhile prize.

Lets look at a specific example, Josh complained how hard it was to win the last prize on the wheel.

EDIT: Well now we have been given the odds by spAnser, we have a much better idea why some prizes are harder to win:
Claus Co 1.56%
Decorated Houses #1 20.22%
Snow Monster 1.68%
Decorated Houses #2 20.22%
Helter Shelter 2.25%
Decorated Houses #3 20.22%
Ice God 2.25%
Mr. Plow & Plow King 5.05%
Simpson Family Snowmen 13.48%

Using probability mathematics (skip this if it bores you), say your last prize left on the wheel was Mr Plow, the odds of getting the prize on your first OR second spin comes out at 9.84% (1 minus the odds of getting money twice, which is 1 - 0.9495*0.9495

Odds of getting the prize within three spins = 14.4% (1- 0.9495*0.9495*0.9495)

And so on as follows:
Spin 1 5.05%
Spin 2 9.84%
Spin 3 14.40%
Spin 4 18.72%
Spin 5 22.83%
Spin 6 26.72%
Spin 7 30.42%
Spin 8 33.94%
Spin 9 37.27%
Spin 10 40.44%
Spin 11 43.45%
Spin 12 46.30%
Spin 13 49.02%
Spin 14 51.59%
Spin 15 54.04%
Spin 16 56.36%
Spin 17 58.56%
Spin 18 60.65%
Spin 19 62.64%
Spin 20 64.53%
Spin 21 66.32%
Spin 22 68.02%
Spin 23 69.63%
Spin 24 71.17%
Spin 25 72.62%
Spin 26 74.01%
Spin 27 75.32%
Spin 28 76.57%
Spin 29 77.75%
Spin 30 78.87%
Spin 31 79.94%
Spin 32 80.95%
Spin 33 81.91%
Spin 34 82.83%
Spin 35 83.69%
Spin 36 84.52%
Spin 37 85.30%
Spin 38 86.04%
Spin 39 86.75%
Spin 40 87.42%
Spin 41 88.05%
Spin 42 88.66%
Spin 43 89.23%
Spin 44 89.77%
Spin 45 90.29%
Spin 46 90.78%
Spin 47 91.24%
Spin 48 91.69%
Spin 49 92.11%
Spin 50 92.51%

So what this means is, for every 100 people who got down to Mr Plow as their last prize on the wheel, ~5 of them will spin it up first go, ~10 second go. Roughly half the players will have it by spin 13, and three quarters by spin 27.

The other quarter will be cursing the screen and calling EA money grubbing low lifes that they still haven't won it.

Does that make it rigged?
No

Does it make you unlucky as hell?
Sure

If EVERYONE got the last prize within ten spins, or twenty spins, or even thirty spins, THEN you could say the wheel was rigged (in a good way, but still rigged), if some don't, then its absolutely normal and expected by the laws of probability.

Doesn't make it rigged, doesn't make it a cash grab, it makes it a game of luck, and if you are willing to pay money for 30 spins (150 donuts, $10+) in a day, then its literally a cash gamble.

So know the odds, and make the choice whether to play or not accordingly. There is always a chance you could be one of the unlucky ones, but hey, you could also be one of the lucky ones.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 12/12/2013 15:23:15




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Joined: 02/27/2013 10:46:44
Messages: 46
Location: Jakarta
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Good luck everyone




Joined: 05/19/2013 03:12:31
Messages: 28
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Totally agree... We have other 26 days to win the prizes on the wheel, I can't see the reason to spend money to buy coins. Maybe last days, but not now. Is part of the update, so if I have all the prizes now, I'll get bored in a week of the new content. Is better waiting in my opinion. And if I have to be honest, this is the less expensive update of the year, not many items purchasable with donuts, almost everything can be unlocked with the wheel and the personal/community rewards.

If reading my posts you find some grammatical error, don't think that I'm an ignorant. I'm italian, my English is not so good



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Joined: 01/03/2013 06:42:01
Messages: 976
Location: Every time I try to go where I really want to be it's already where I am. 'Cause I'm already there.
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I'm going (trying) to wait until I've used up all my "free" spins before I buy any extra coins. Hopefully I can get most items during the next few weeks.





Joined: 10/01/2013 15:57:47
Messages: 8
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Have you actually tried to get the last prize thread creator??? The wheel is without doubt RIGGED, it speeds up and slows down to stop you getting that last prize. The number of times I spun that wheel and could see I was going to land on the prize dead on, only for the wheel to splutter to a grinding halt prematurely, almost had me launching my tablet against the wall.

Your probability model would work fine if the wheel spun FAIRLY at a consistent speed all the time, but it doesn't. It took me 73 spins to get the last prize, my gf took 65 spins. Are we really just the unlucky 1% or is it plainly obvious the wheel is rigged?



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Joined: 02/14/2013 18:03:38
Messages: 470
Location: Nuuk, Greenland
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arturo_soldatini wrote:Totally agree... We have other 26 days to win the prizes on the wheel, I can't see the reason to spend money to buy coins. Maybe last days, but not now. Is part of the update, so if I have all the prizes now, I'll get bored in a week of the new content. Is better waiting in my opinion. And if I have to be honest, this is the less expensive update of the year, not many items purchasable with donuts, almost everything can be unlocked with the wheel and the personal/community rewards.


+1

My strategy is to see how many prizes I get over the next almost four weeks and then spend donuts on tokens if there are prizes that I haven't won by then.

I have been playing for almost a year - started last year around Christmas and had 9 Christmas lights.




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Joined: 10/25/2013 19:09:33
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barcaboyz34 wrote:Have you actually tried to get the last prize thread creator??? The wheel is without doubt RIGGED, it speeds up and slows down to stop you getting that last prize. The number of times I spun that wheel and could see I was going to land on the prize dead on, only for the wheel to splutter to a grinding halt prematurely, almost had me launching my tablet against the wall.

Your probability model would work fine if the wheel spun FAIRLY at a consistent speed all the time, but it doesn't. It took me 73 spins to get the last prize, my gf took 65 spins. Are we really just the unlucky 1% or is it plainly obvious the wheel is rigged?


Nope.

Whether you win the prize or not has already been determined a long time before the wheel stops spinning.

Heres how these kind of things work.

When you set the wheel in motion, it will make a call to a random number generator, for the purpose of this example, lets say the generator returns a number between 1 and 100.

If the number returned is:
1-10 - You win prize one (money)
11-20 - You win prize two (money)
21-30 - You win prize three (money)
31-40 - You win prize four (money)
41-50 - You win prize five (money)
51-60 - You win prize six (money)
61-70 - You win prize seven (money)
71-80 - You win prize eight (money)
81-90 - You win prize nine (money)
91-100 - You win prize ten (the last non money prize)

This number is returned the instant you start the spin, what happens after that is just for the benefit of making the wheel be an actually wheel, rather than an arbitrary value that determines whether you won or not.

What is likely occurring is that depending on the number returned by the random number generator, it chooses a 'wheel animation' to play for you.

I don't know how many different animations there are, for the sake of this example lets say there are 3.

If the random number generated is:
1-45 - The wheel animation lands nowhere near your prize
46-90 - The wheel animation gives you the impression you are going to win, but you don't (tease animation)
90-100 - The wheel animation lands on the prize you want.

As I said, thats just an example, there could be many more than three wheel animations, but the point of my post here is that the random number that determines whether you won the prize or not will have been returned the instant you set the wheel in motion, what happens after that is all for show.




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Joined: 01/03/2013 06:42:01
Messages: 976
Location: Every time I try to go where I really want to be it's already where I am. 'Cause I'm already there.
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Ugh...just like those darn slot machines in Vegas. 7-7-plum





Joined: 12/12/2013 05:56:07
Messages: 4
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Hello all,
I am not going to say that this is rigged, but I will relate my experience. Let's just say I have been playing this game for awhile and have everything in the game. Let's also say that I have seen the slow changes to make sure EA makes a lot of cash from this game, which begs my curiosity how the profit margin stacks up to other games.

Enough with my opine. So out of 20 spins, it landed on the exact same pie 12 times out of 20, yes the same cash one. 4 times on a second pie, another cash one. A third pie 2 times. And then two seperate pies.

I don't know the mathematical probabilities, but 14 out of 20 spins on the exact same pies, even when I changes starting points of the wheel. But, I am a little suspicious from my experience.




Joined: 10/11/2013 13:54:40
Messages: 17
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I believe where you start the spin affects the outcome also. So if you try to start your spin on a different piece every time and spin the wheel with the same amount of force every time you can see a pattern. For me it's 3 or 4 pieces from the piece I started the spin on. I hope this makes sense.




Joined: 10/02/2013 06:14:14
Messages: 72
Location: Chiang Mai
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yes.
I don't have any christmas lights, nothing and on my wheel, i can't see a single cash section.



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Joined: 04/12/2013 08:29:51
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Location: A big Thumbs Up!
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jfcal2005 wrote:yes.
I don't have any christmas lights, nothing and on my wheel, i can't see a single cash section.


The cash and extra vouchers will replace the items already on your wheel, once you have won them.




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Joined: 10/25/2013 19:09:33
Messages: 217
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If you really hate the wheel, then the worst thing you could have possibly done is to blow through so much money/donuts on it on the first day.

Pouring so much into a low probability game without a second thought, based on some bizarre urge to gather a months worth of prizes in a single day, has likely made the Christmas wheel a very profitable venture for the developers.

Given how well this has gone (for them, not the unlucky donut investors), its probably a safe bet that we will be seeing a lot more of these low probability games in future, which will continue to extract donuts from those people who simple must have everything NOW.




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Joined: 02/24/2013 16:25:13
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Per spAnser from another thread...

spAnser wrote:I will just chime in here but from looking at the files the Wheel is nothing more than a glorified mystery box.

It has chance numbers associated with each section of the wheel.


Yes I am aware that is adds up to more than 100%








Joined: 10/05/2013 12:46:02
Messages: 30
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I think the addition of spAnser's odds goes a long way toward explaining people's frustration with the wheel. I was playing last year and have all of the Christmas lights and none of the premium content, so when I made my first spin, I was looking at a wheel with premium items, and 2 cash locations. I used my free spin, and then purchased 10 more. After seeing these numbers I am shocked at how I did. Out of 11 spins, I hit the cash twice and it was each time replaced with gold, then silver gift cards. I got 3 different Simpson's family snowmen, Claus Co., Mr. Plow, Plow King, Skinner House Lights, a couple of other things I can't recall right now. I can see now it will be a long time before I hit Helter Shelter or the Snow Monster. I guess I just was lucky and lacking in last year's premium items.
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