Calculating the chances of being lucky: the odds are quite low

Monday, 7 June, 2010

There’s good news and there’s bad news, luck – both good and bad – is random, and cannot be manipulated, forced, or coerced… no matter how often we wear that “lucky” t-shirt of ours.

Gerald Busald, a math professor at San Antonio College who studies the lottery, discourages people from playing the lottery because of poor odds and diminished returns over long payment periods. For those who insist on playing, “I always discourage people from playing the same numbers, because then they feel they have to play, or else it might just happen [that those numbers come up] and then they’ll be mad about not playing.” He added, “If you teach statistics and you’re really superstitious, then something’s wrong.”

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