# DotCom bets: they just got more complicated.

iPredict has a contract that pays $0.10 for every 1% of the vote earned by the yet-to-be-formed Kim DotCom Internet Party. The contract’s price then is the market’s expectation of the party’s vote share.

But not anymore.

If #InternetParty won’t poll 5+% before ballot papers are printed we’ll self destruct & put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 10, 2014

We now have a ridiculously complicated contract. Here’s what you’re trading on, if you’re buying this contract.

- The probability that DotCom actually forms a party (which I’d reckoned at 80% prior to this);
- The probability that DotCom is serious about the tweet (75%?);
- The probability that the Internet Party could poll above 5% prior to the deadline (which I put at even odds IF we get substantial GCSB Snowden revelations during the campaign);
- The expected vote share on election day. This expected vote share is:
- Zero if either of {No party, serious * less than 5%} obtain
- The vote share conditional on polling above 5% and conditional on DotCom being serious.

So, what the hell should you pay for a contract that pays $0.10 for every 1% of the vote earned by the yet-to-be-formed Kim DotCom Internet Party?

Let’s label a few terms and make a few guesses.

*Pp*is the probability that there is a Party, say 0.8.*Ps*is the probability that DotCom really would kill the party if it doesn’t poll 5% prior to the election, say 0.75*Vh*is the expected vote share conditional on a poll result of 5% prior to the deadline- This one’s hard to ballpark. You could make an argument for pegging it lower than 5% because a single outlier poll could be sufficient for his going ahead. But I expect that the state of the world in which he can get a single >5% figure is the state of the world in which we’ve had substantial GCSB revelations affecting NZ; in that state of the world, I’d put even odds on 5%. And so I’ll stick it at 5, or $0.50 in iPredict prices.
*Vl*is the expected vote share conditional on no polling result of 5% prior to the deadline.- I’ll peg this at 0.5%. If he goes ahead despite no polling result above 5%, credibility’s shot. And it’s also the state of the world in which there’s no substantial GCSB revelations. So $0.05 in iPredict prices.
*Pt*is the probability that the Internet Party polls at least 5% prior to the deadline.- I’ll peg this at at even odds IF we get substantial GCSB revelations during the election campaign, and nil otherwise. Supposing even odds on substantial revelations, that gives us 25%.

The expected value of the contract is then:

*Pp**[[

*Ps**[(

*Pt*Vh*)+((1-

*Pt*)*0)]+[(1-

*Ps*)*[(

*Pt*Vh*)+((1-

*Pt*)*

*Vl*)]]]

Using my rough ballpark estimates, that’s then:

0.8*[[0.75*((0.25*$0.5)+0)]+[0.25*[0.25*$0.5+0.75*$0.05]]]

= 0.8*($0.09375+.25*$0.04375)

= 0.8*$0.1375

= $0.11