Friday, April 4, 2008

A Nation Seen Thru the Eyes of a Lottery Ticket


The Loteca is a lottery. The game consists of 14 soccer matches and the player must select an outcome for each match. He is awarded when getting 13 to 14 predictions right.
The deadline for weekly Lotecas are Saturday's at 2:00 pm. I decided to play this week. If there aren't many winners and if the pot is big enough (the state retains 60% of the pot levying taxes) then come Monday my financial status will have improved greatly. The player can also select more than one outcome for a match, a double ( two possible results) or a triple ( 3 results hence getting that match right). There is a limit to double and triple selections and the price of the coupon goes up accordingly.

Let's look at my prognosis.

Game 1: Here I chose Flamengo over Vasco. Vasco was the first team to open their doors to black players. Soccer in Brazil was a sport for the aristocracy when first introduced, only whites from that class were allowed to play.
Game 2: I'll take Ponte Preta Over Santos. The Peixe (Santos) can no longer qualify for the Paulista finals so I am guessing they will play with a weaker squad and save their best players for their Libertadores matches.
Game 3: Cruzeiro is my pic. Tupi have always got the short end of the stick in Brazil.
Game 4: Will take a draw and Gama ( a double selection here) over Brasiliense. There is a ongoing quarrel between two of Brasileinse's main players. One is accusing the other of taking a friend to their last match who fired racial slurs at him after the team was defeated. This can't be good for morale, or anything else.
Game 5: Vila Nova will beat Crac. I can't endorse a team with a name like that. Just say no kids.
Game 6: Anapolis because I like the name. I think I'll name my daughter Ana if I ever have one.
Game 7: Nautico is stronger.
Game 8: Two teams from Santa Catarina. The best place in Latin America. I will take the underdogs over Florianopolis powerhouse Figuerense.
Game 9: Sergipe.
Game 10: Ipatinga is sponsored by that state's local powerhouse (Cruzeiro of Minas Gerais) and thus has a better team.
Game 11: Palmeiras has a great team and a great coach. It was founded by and represented the Italian immigrant community of Sp but was forced to remove any refrences to Italy because of this.
Game 12: Guaratinguet√° is having a great season. This is a no brainer (or so it seems to the uneducated eye) so I will take a double (draw plus Guaratinguet√°) and eliminate other players who aren't as clever as I.
Game 13: Paulista here. Bragantino hasn't had a good season for a long time.
Game 14: Never underestimate the ability of Corinthians to screw things up in the end, even when they are having a good season. I will take a double.

There it is. I spent 4 reais (2.33 USD) on the bet.
Wish me luck.

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