A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies

reader comments: law of truly large numbers

law of truly large numbers

07 Mar 2003
 Some of your statistics under subgroup "coincidences" are a bit misleading. In regards to a person winning the lottery twice, The probability is not 1 in 40 that they will win the lottery a second time. Obviously, the odds of winning the lottery just don't diminish if you have already won. Numbers don't play favorites. The correct probability is that IF You win the lottery a second time, the odds of winning it twice within a two month period are 1 in 40 compared to winning it twice over a several year period. If it were not, You would see a lot more mathematicians playing the lotto. Also, it might be interesting to note that in order for two people to have the same birthday on any given SPECIFIED day, you need to have a group of at least 250 people in order for the probability to be 50-50. One wouldn't want to accuse you of selective thinking. Either way, as you have noted, with a large enough sample, truly large coincidences will happen. It is just a lot more enjoyable when you happen to be making several million dollars in the process.

G. Gotham Smith

25 Sep 2001
In "lawofnumbers.html" there are some problems in the table "Geller's Mysterious Number 11". Here are eleven errors I found:

1.) "Twin Towers - standing side by side, looks like the number 11" - "looks" s/b "look" - There is an unneeded line break after the work "like".

2.) "*The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11 by *American Airlines or AA -> A=1st letter in alphabet so we have again 11:11" - unneeded line break after the word "by". - unneeded star before "American Airlines. - How do we get "11:11"? Is this from AA:11-> 11:11?

3.) "The # of story is 110 (2x) 110 - 110 Remember that the zero "0" is not a number, so we have 11:11" - "story" s/b "stories". - How about "The # of stories in each tower was 110, 110:110. Since zero, "0", is not a number we have 11:11"

4.) "The house where they believed to have lived had # 10001 again don't count the zero....." - They who? - The five periods s/b three

5.) "Skyscrapers, American Airlines AA = 11" - This is a little confusing, why not just add "Skyscrapers" to the eleven letter words list. - AA = 11 is a repeat of an early point. ---------- Here's another eleven letter group "Bob T. Carroll", not to mention how the last two letters of "Carroll" form an eleven, "ll". Are you ready to come clean about your connection with the bombing?

And one more eleven letter group "Eleven Errors", (treat the "o" like a zero and don't count it).

Tim B

reply: You are right.

law of truly large numbers

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