Spot the homophone (plus a lesson in contest statistics)

This advertisement (which was designed to be hung on a horizontal pole on a bus or a train) says:

West My Golden Ticket?

The idea for this jokey name is that the word “west” in Singlish has the exact same three sounds as the word “where’s” in Singlish.

Yep. They’re both pronounced “wes”.

Below is some explanation of what the advertisement wants you to do (spend money, duh) and how the math works.

West My Golden Ticket?

Are You Bad at Probabilities?

When I was as a kid, one kind of popsicle that my family bought had a contest where you could collect two to five sticks to make a picture, then you would win the thing in the picture. I had half of the two-part picture of Roller Blades, thus I was halfway to an actual pair of Roller Blades!

Haha, no.

My mom, probably tired of hearing about how I was going to win the skates any day now, eventually managed to drive it through my head that no matter how many popsicles I ate, I was almost certainly never going to find the last piece of the puzzle, because the two halves weren’t produced in the same proportions. The popsicle people just wanted me to assume they were.

So it amuses me that someone has posted one half of a golden ticket on Carousell, offering to split the reward with someone who has the other half.

Either the poster is genuinely bad at probabilities, or the post is a scam, and the poster is hoping to take advantage of someone who doesn’t understand how these things work, which is that one half is common and the other half is rare. I’m assuming the left half is the common half of the puzzle because it seems doubtful that someone with the rare half would be asking for help finding the common one.

It’s not really a question of “collecting” two pieces that happen to match, it’s a question of being one of the lucky 50 to ever see the rare half. In this contest, if you have the right half of the golden ticket, you’ve basically already won. If you don’t, then even if you’ve got the left half, you’re hoping to stumble across a needle in a haystack, just as you would be in any luck-based contest.

I suppose in the case of the Capitaland Golden Ticket thing, they could make more than 50 right halves, and then only actually pay out the first 50, but that seems like it would really upset people starting from match #51, fine print or no fine print. Probably they just made 50 right halves, and if someone loses theirs or never bothers to get the left half of the puzzle, then that award is never handed out.