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A Freakonomics Quiz for Horse Players

Here is a tough little Freakonomics quiz for people who like to bet the ponies:

Is there ever a situation in a parimutuel betting system in which you would want to bet on a horse to win, even though you knew for sure that the horse would lose the race?

This is a hard one. Had it simply been posed to me as a question, I don’t think I could have figured it out. I know of only one case in which someone actually followed this strategy, and it worked out great for them.

We’ll give some Freakonomics schwag to the first person who gets the right answer (unless that person’s name is Bill Hessert, because he is the one who first told me the story).