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Lottery luck exceeds number of electrons in universe?

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But isn’t that precisely what naturalism teaches about everything?

Further to When organized crime got ID? (There always needs to be someone whose knowledge is in fact an intelligent commentary for a naturalist theory of mind to be valid, which means by definition that it isn’t), cheating supposedly random lotteries is once again in the news.

From WUSA9, we hear,

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – A man who sold himself a $1,000,000 winning D.C. Lottery ticket is just one of many retailers a WUSA9 investigation found winning the lottery at rates statisticians say border on impossible.

At least three retailers won the lottery around 100 times according to an analysis of D.C. Lottery records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Statisticians who reviewed the numbers at WUSA9’s request said the numbers stack up in astounding ways.

“What are the odds? Slim,” said George Washington University Statistics Professor Dan Ullman. “Very slim.”

“One in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0000,000,000,000,000,000,0000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,” is how the professor estimates the odds of someone having Issaad’s luck. “Larger than the number of electrons in the universe.”

“That is statistically ridiculous. It just doesn’t happen,” says University of Illinois Professor Emeritus John Kindt, an expert in gambling and lottery practices. “With the computer software available to lotteries, these statistical red flags should have alerted lottery regulators as far back as 2012.”

But, of course, if the lottery bosses and players are sold on naturalism, they are not interested in accepting realistic estimates of the odds. They believe that information is available for free, from non-information.

So the smart cookies clean up. The government talks around the problem. The naturalists are out the money—a small price to pay, for maintaining one’s belief system. 😉

This sort of thing has a long history, and we’ve told some of it here. See, for example, Lotteries shocka!!: It ISN’T chance that someone gets multiverse-level lucky:

In “Lottery wins come easy, if you can spot the loopholes” (New Scientist, 19 August 2011), Ferris Jabr brings us up to date on how sharp people make their own luck.

One guy we covered in February was honest: Statistician Mohan Srivastava of Toronto, Canada, picked winning Ontario Lottery scratch cards by assuming that they were assigned by a software tool called a pseudo-random number generator. Instead of ripping off, he picked 19 of 20 proposed winners correctly and took the unscratched cards to the lottery commission. Which pretty much ended that game. And we’ve all heard about the Texas “lucky star” lotto queen too. More.

See also: Can all the numbers for life’s origin just happen to fall into place?

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2 Replies to “Lottery luck exceeds number of electrons in universe?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Mathematically impossible. The probability of these results is “exactly zero.”

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    But, of course, if the lottery bosses and players are sold on naturalism, they are not interested in accepting realistic estimates of the odds. They believe that information is available for free, from non-information.

    Well, I guess I qualify as a naturalist, yet I would be very concerned about such incidents if I were in charge of overseeing these lotteries.

    The games themselves are quite simple, and it’s not difficult to compute the probabilities (assuming no one has found an exploit) of events as described in the OP, because we know exactly how they work.

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