Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Statistics vs. the Lottery

So apparently there's an article in Harper's (can't see the original; link below is commentary at Forbes) on the following subject -- Joan R. Ginther has been "outed" as a statistics professor with a PhD from Stanford, who possibly deduced the winning-ticket lottery distribution schedule in Texas, and has hit multi-million dollar jackpots 4 times in the last decade. Notes:

(1) While I don't see any assertion of any way in which this would be illegal, the overall tone is clearly one of how-dare-she-think-she-can-get-away-with-this. “When something this unlikely happens in a casino, you arrest ‘em first and ask questions later,” says a professor at the Institute for the Study of Gambling & Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno.

(2) "The residents of Bishop, Texas seem to believe God was behind it all."