Kogan gives Kiwis chance to win $1 million in World Cup tipping competition

What could possibly go wrong?

I've just entered the $NZ1.08 million World Cup* tipping competition being run by Aussie e-tailer Kogan.com (based in Melbourne and known for its low-cost house brand smartphones and TVs; since March it's had direct sales to NZ and it's now got a small crew here handling logistics. Maverick founder Ruslan Kogan has quite a high profile with the Aussie business and tech press, although he's little known on this side of the Tasman).

A rep for Kogan confirms you will get marketing emails if you enter (his official comment on entrants: "Entrants join the community so yes Kogan can email them deals from time to time.")

Still — one million dollars! 

I'll swallow a lot of spam for the chance to win that amount of money.

There's one catch: people in Australia and the UK can also enter.

And some bad news: NBR reporter and party-pooper David Williams took it upon himself to interview a statistician about people's chances of winning Kogan's tipping competition, or the TAB's.

Normally, I don't have time for statisticians in these matters. They typically fail to account for well-known luck-boosting strategies, such as never checking your Lotto ticket during the live draw.

But I'm afraid Auckland University associate professor and statistics expert David Scott makes a pretty persuasive case against tipping competitions.

A rep Kogan (too cheap to stump for a paywall subscription) emailed me saying, in effect, "Whoa buddy, Prof Scott is not allowing for the fact a tipping competition is a game of skill, where Lotto is a game of chance."

Yup, that's what I used to think too. But as Prof Scott explains, it's not the case.

* the soccer one