It’s big news in England that a bunch of amateur math nerds recently won the lottery. They’re pleased, of course, and rather proud of themselves for being so smart as to figure out an algorithm that turns out to be worth quite a lot, although that is, of course, in some dispute from math professionals and fearful lottery officials. It appears that you have to play the system a long time before you’re likely to hit a payout, if you get one at all and the result wasn’t, as most people imagine it to be, pure luck in the first place.
Here in Canada we prefer sure things to probable things, so we’ve developed a fool-proof system. Be related to the guy checking the tickets.
Lottery ‘insiders’ win big bucks
Odds of Ontario results are astronomical, investigation by CBC program reports
More than two hundred lottery “insiders” have won prizes of $50,000 or more in Ontario since 1999, and more than two-thirds of these wins may have involved the deception of a customer who bought the ticket.
The allegation is made by the CBC program the fifth estate, after an investigation into the number of “insider wins” in the province in the past seven years.
A statistical analysis of the number of insider wins concluded that fewer than 60 insiders, such as ticket retailers or clerks, should have won major prizes during the period that was investigated.
The odds that the 214 insiders who claimed major prizes — $50,000 or more — since 1999 won as a result of pure luck, is one in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, said University of Toronto professor Jeffrey Rosenthal, who conducted the analysis.
Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a system.
Gee, and I thought you were going to tell us to put a paper bag over Nigella’s head and tell her there’s a big, thick prawn with her name on it.
You won’t get near Nigella without a yarmulke and a half-billion dollars. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Oy vey. Wonder if a good recipe for potato pancakes would suffice? I happen to come by that honestly, by the way, because of a Germanic streak in the 57 recipe. And you probably thought I was kidding about the whole Alsace thing . . .
And since this is in danger of getting lost on HE’s blog, let me share it with someone who might appreciate it . . . or at least the horrible sense of early 20th century U.S. history that spawned it.
Eugene Debs and Emma Goldman meet up one night after an IWW rally and decide to show a little union comradeship at the boarding house.
The next morning, a union member sees Goldman sneaking out of Debs’ room. He knocks on the door and Debs answers.
“Gene, are you alright,” the union guy asks.
“Never better,” Debs replies. “Why do you ask?”
“Well,” the union guy says, “I saw you were gettin’ a little Wobbly.”
*rolls eyes and groans*
Which is, I’m sure, more or less what he did.
And THAT’S a reason to study history – who can beat historically contextual puns and irony?
Not to mention the warm fuzzies you get thinking of all the people who will read that and immediately hit Google with confused looks on their faces. Smug, smug, smug. It keeps me warm at night.
My wife was making soup tonight when she glanced into the vegetable keeper and said:
“I think this beet’s had it.”
“Not so,” I replied “The beet goes on.”
Not as clever as wobbly puns, but worth sharing. So was the soup.
Wobby or beet, would you eat it?
Always nice to see Cherware on sites like this