Well lets see whats big in the news today,.... hrmm, Lottery ripoofs. Ok, Statisticly Retailers win 200 times to 2 billion times more ofter than normal citizens in Ontario. OK. The Ombudsen of Ontario is investigating, OK. Everyone's out to get you, OK.
I'm not impartial, I'm a retailer. I've also bought lottery tickets and never won 1 cent, I guess I was ripped off and someone owes me millions of dollars. But wait, i've had tickets scanned by retailers, when I was too lazy to check, but I had a idea if the ticket won or not. I'm sure I wouldn't miss that little song that plays telling me I'm a winner (or in my case, the guy in front of me). So I lose and the clerk gives me my ticket back and I throw it out. I've never enjoyed playing the lottery, however I've worked in a store that did sell lotto tickets, and I'd say over 99% of customers who get thier tickets scanned already know the results. I know I certainly wouldn't hand over a $50,000 dollar ticket (in my mind) and let a minimium wage clerk tell me it was worthless and then keep the ticket. Would you let the clerk ring your purchases through and never let you see the register or give you a reciept, just pay and go? No of course you wouldn't. Now I'm sure there are instances where people have been ripped off by dishonest lottery retailers, there are dishonest people in every industry so how could we be exempt?
The sheer media delight at this story is silly (I imagine if you google class action lawsuits against the lottery corp today you'd have alot of greasy friends willing to help you). Lets all take a deep breath, "buyer beware" is a life motto taught from birth in the first world, understand your risks and rights and make your decsion. Ultimately you might have to actually look at the ticket yourself and quit being so damn lazy that someone would be able to do this to you.
Finally, If I roll a die and it comes up 6, 5 times in a row, am I more or less likely to roll another 6. The answer is... not a damn thing has changed no matter what the statistical odds are, the odds are actually 1 in 6 (or for you math freaks 1 in 5.984673, due to the lighter wieght of the 6 side if its a dimpled die). Fate has no memory. If I won 12 million yesterday in lotto, I just as likely to win 12 million today, and tommorrow I'm just as likely to win 12 million, and on and on, FATE HAS NO MEMORY. Statistic's lie, thats why the media loves them, Did you know only half of the people who have ever lived have died, ergo, statisticly I have a 50% chance of never dieing. Does that make sense? Numbers can identify trends, but don't bet on it.
PS. If the ombudsmen is interested in keeping busy maybe he should look at the fact that if gas goes up on Wall Street at 10:00 somehow that same gas is in my retailers tank a hour later, but if the price falls it take three weeks to get to his tanks.
Thursday, October 26, 2006