Owen_Cotton-Barratt comments on Announcing the 2017 donor lottery - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Owen_Cotton-Barratt 18 December 2017 02:11:49PM 0 points [-]

A simple variation on the current system would allow people to opt into lottery-ing up further (to the scale of the total donor lottery pot):

Ask people what scale they would like to lottery to. If $100k, allocate them a range of tickets in one block as in the current system. If (say) $300k, split their tickets between three blocks, giving them the same range in each block. If their preferred scale exceeds the total pot, just give them correlated tickets on all available blocks.

If there's a conflict of preference between people wanting small and large lotteries so they're not simultaneously satisfiable (I think this is somewhat unlikely in practice unless someone comes in with $90k hoping to lottery up to $100k), first satisfy those who want smaller totals, then divide the rest as fairly as possible.

Comment author: Owen_Cotton-Barratt 18 December 2017 02:15:22PM 1 point [-]

I don't quite have an algorithm in mind for this. I think in practice it would likely be easy to find solutions to dividing tickets, but perhaps one would want something more specified first.

With a well-specified algorithm and an understanding that it was well-behaved, one could imagine shrinking the block size right down to give people flexibility over their lottery size and reduce the liability of the guarantor. There is perhaps an advantage to having a canonical size for developing buy-in to the idea, though.