I was asked some questions about Ethiopian case numbers so I thought it would be useful to have a Holes theory illustration on Ethiopia. This post is useful to further understand the way that the draw process cuts off certain countries and those countries have all their cases concentrated into the early case numbers. I am assuming the reader will have read the post about the draw process and holes theory – so this example will help illustrate the points I made in that post – so read that, and then come back to this post.

So let’s take a DV2015 example. One of the “limited” countries is Ethiopia (others are Ghana, Egypt, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Nepal and Iran). Nigeria was limited of course due to enormous numbers of entries and the exclusion of Nigeria is sure to change to final high case number for Africa in DV2015 – explained here.

In the case of Ethiopia, we can assume (based on recent years statistics) that at least 600k entries (plus family) would have come in from Ethiopia. At 1.8% (the approximate winning chance for Africa), they would have received about 10,800 winning entries – which would mean around 14,000 total selectees including family members (at 0.3 derivatives per case based on entry Ethiopian numbers in previous years). Those 10,800 cases would have been randomly distributed over the 100k case numbers – so roughly 1080 Ethiopian winning case numbers per 10,000 CNs.

However, since Ethiopia was cutoff at 4988 (with family members) that works out to be about 3800 cases, and at 1080 cases per 10000 CNs, that means the max Ethiopian case number would be about 35k (roughly). I expect all of those cases for Ethiopia to get current.

Some people may say that seems unfair to give the Ethiopian cases the low numbers – so the draw explanation makes it clear why it is fair. And of course, the 4988 winners from Ethiopia get the low numbers, but something like 9000 more people from Ethiopia lost their winning chance before the selected letters were even sent out!

Incidentally, that 1080 per 10k case numbers trend continues above the 35k – but of course those cases are “holes”, thus reducing the density in higher case number ranges. Other types of holes (caused by disqualifications) would be evenly distributed throughout the case numbers.


Holes theory illustration