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Friday, July 8, 2011

Season 40 Update: Punch-a-Bunch

Word going around from the early tapings for Season 40 is that we can finally expect a new slip distribution scheme for Punch-a-Bunch.

Before you get your hopes too high, however... it's not that much of an improvement. Based on accounts from those who were there, the new distribution looks something like this:

1 $25,000 2 $10,000
4 $5,000 8 $2,500 10 $1,000
10 $500 10 $250 5 $100

At this stage, it's unknown if there will still be Second Chances under this new scheme.  (UPDATE: Apparently, the Second Chances are gone.)

This is definitely a step in the right direction, but frankly it's one the show should've made at least a decade ago. And it still doesn't change the fact the odds of winning Punchy outright (by finding the $25,000 slip) haven't changed one iota; they're still 1:50. For this reason I'm not changing my fudge rule for this game -- I will still consider Punch-a-Bunch won if either the $10K or $25K slips are found (and claimed, in the case of the $10K ones). This actually improves the odds of a Punchy win for my bookkeeping from 1:25 to 1:16.667. And you'll note that there's now a straight-up 50% chance of winning at least $1,000 off the new board, so that at least is much improved over the old (which had a whopping 80% chance of paying off $500 or less).

Baby steps, perhaps. But considering the slip distribution has gone effectively unchanged since the Carter Administration, with the sole exception of changing one of the $10,000 slips to a $25,000 one in 2008, any forward progress is to be welcomed.

Further Season 40 updates as we get them...

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