Monday, January 14, 2008

Why we do NOT play random?

Some time ago, I was amused by this article. I ran a quick quiz on my messanger shortlist, and yes indeed, the results were almost the same.

Great. But what patterns do we follow, when we play the lottery? Do we seek God, or wait for the plannets to settle, or just believe in ourselves, hoping that we alone, actually could bring the chaos to the wall and point a finger in its butterfly winged eyes?

Well, here comes some view on the results (actual data taken from here):


You see, it is not 17 that is played the most. It's just 7. Why 7? And after it, there are 5,18,9,3,13?! .. and then 17. Anyway, most frequently played numbers are 7,5,18,9,3 and 13. Period. No 17 here. We are hopeless. Should we blame our heritage, our religion or some common DNA inprinted faith?

I do not believe in coincidence, neither I believe in the inteligence of the masses, and the fact the list begins with something from the Bible, or mythology and ends the same way does not surprise me. Then again, the pure thought of winning the lotary brings a smile on a mathematician's face, and then again twice someone said "A man should admit his madness with pride".

And finally - the frequency map with the numbers disposed the way, we are filling them.







Good luck next time :)

1 comment:

Dave Munger said...

That's an interesting chart. But that's a little different from our quiz -- it's analyzing what numbers people think will win, not what they think are "random."

If I played the lottery, I'd use the chart a different way. I'd choose numbers that were less frequently picked, which would improve my chances of not splitting the pot.