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QOTD: hindsight edition

July 10, 2011

Kaiser Fung writes on uncertainty and thinking probabilistically about events that have already transpired. The full post is worth a read, but this line sticks out for me: The fact that you won the lottery does not change the fact that economically, it was silly to play the lottery in the first place. This fallacy pops […]

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Lottery math is not so easy

September 23, 2009

Carl Bialik has written about lottery coincidences in his WSJ print column and on The Numbers Guy blog, inspired of course by the recent consecutive draws in the Bulgarian lottery. Addressing my recent confusion, he sheds a little light on why likelihood estimates varied so much: The probability of Bulgaria's repeated winning numbers became a […]

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Adventures in probability

September 17, 2009

Calculating the probability of the Bulgarian lottery drawing the exact same numbers in consecutive weeks.

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So you're telling me there's a chance?

January 10, 2009

Reader's Digest has written a brief piece looking at state lottery games and noting that an increased proportion of recession spending is allocated toward these games of chance. Lotteries are excellent laboratories for testing the theories of Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel prize in economics in 2002.  Kahneman's focus was on the cognitive errors that people […]

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