Saturday, May 06, 2006

Steve Levitt Gambles on American Idol

... and he apparently has made a tidy sum doing so. It was suggested in comments awhile back that I should be ashamed for watching these shows; however, if a Clark medal winner and best-selling author is watching I don't feel so bad. (Although I haven't been watching Idol this season, I just don't think any of them are that good.)

I have had my best gambling success in a long time betting on American Idol, also at Tradesports. You can bet on who will be the overall winner, and also on who gets voted off each week. In four of the five weeks that I bet on who would get voted off, I made a hefty profit. Only When Kellie Pickler got voted off was I on the wrong side. Part of my secret is being in touch with the youth of America. Perhaps a bigger part has been exploiting the information at DialIdol. Somebody has set up a website where you download an automatic dialer and then send the information on how many busy signals you receive on different contestants back to the website where they are tallied to predict the winner. Over 500,000 phone calls were tracked last week, with those calls correctly predicting that Paris would be voted off. Now the markets at Tradesports are incorporating the DialIdol info much more efficiently as word has spread (which is why I’m willing to write about it here). As you can imagine, the producers of American Idol hate this website (see his blog entries from mid-March when he got a cease and desist order) because it ruins a lot of the suspense, although the ratings certainly haven’t suffered.

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