08/03/2014

Fortune Cookie Wins Lottery

When good news stories go bad: A 75-year-old woman from New York won $2 million in the lottery after playing the numbers found in her fortune cookie.

That's good news for Emma Duvoll, she could now buy 1.2 million things from Poundland at current rates. However, I can't help thinking this is bad news for the rest of us. Now, whenever you get sat next to some crystal-loving "spiritual" sort at a dinner party they'll think this proves them right.


Those conversations always go the same way.

"Well, I think there's something out there."

Yeah, and I wish it was you, but you're not, you're right here.

"And I just think there are some things that science doesn't know."

Yep, true. That doesn't mean any old crap you come up with should be considered right though. Just because the Higgs Boson is a new thing doesn't mean your "feeling" about things should be believed.

"I mean, how did that fortune cookie know what numbers to give her?"

I didn't. It was just random numbers that just happened to come up in the lottery.

"Oh come on. You expect me to believe that the fortune cookie just happened to pick the numbers that would come up in the lottery? I mean, what are the chances of that?"

The same f***ing chances of any numbers winning the lottery. And that happens most weeks.


And that's what this story will do, give ammo to people who think one anecdotal story trumps statistical evidence. I always think it's a shame that we have to listen to science deniers prattling on at dinner parties but the science community can't ban then from using our shit. "What's that, you're having a heart attack? It says on your medical records that you think crystals have special heeling properties, so here's some quartz. Good luck!"

I say the news story is bad for us and good for the 75-year-old, but actually, it might be bad for her too. Later in the article it says:

"She plans to invest her winnings and may splurge on a trip to Switzerland to see relatives."

A pensioner, who has come into money, goes to Switzerland. Hmm, this is actually only good news for anyone in her will.

>Read the source story
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