Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wanna Bet?

Odds of Ontario results are astronomical, says the Globe & Mail headline.

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.

So what?
People have been cheating government lotteries for centuries.

And besides, who's to say what's cheating and what's not?

...a syndicate of university professors and tutors in Britain thought it could also be related to the principles of mathematical probability. And their theory was spectacularly vindicated this week when they matched all six numbers and scooped the $13 million lotto jackpot.


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