AKA the lottery. Guess what, kid’s? It’s rigged.
The random winning numbers on lottery tickets aren’t exactly random at all.
Mohan Srivastava is the man who figured out how to beat a scratch lottery game — and he didn’t even profit from it.
Srivastava, who was featured in this month’s Wired magazine, is a geological statistician by trade and is naturally adept at analyzing numbers and realizing patterns. His day job involves scoping out potential gold mines and determining the how much gold they might contain.
Cracking the lottery wasn’t all that different. Srivastava, using the same math, was able to predict winning tickets for a Canadian Tic-Tac-Toe scratch lottery game 9 out of 10 times. The method is surprisingly simple but his road to discovery involved a bit of chance.
The games are not at all random, they are carefully controlled so there are a fixed number of winners – and a lot of losers. Srivastava reported his findings to the Canadian lottery officials – his intent was never to get rich off the code breaking. Just an intellectual exercise for the man.
The various lotteries run by states, provinces and combinations thereof are nothing more than revenue generators – another tax – targeted at people who can’t figure out that their odds of winning suck.