IPAM Lecture: “Some People Have All the Luck” by Skip Garibaldi, Lawrence Mower, and Philip B. Stark

April 28, 2014



Winning a prize of at least $600 in the lottery is a remarkable thing — for a scratcher ticket the odds are worse than 1-in-1200 and 1-in-9000 is a more typical figure. Some people have won many of these large prizes, and clearly they are very lucky or they buy a ton of lottery tickets. When we investigated records of all claimed lottery prizes, we discovered that some people had won hundreds of these prizes! Such people seem to be not just lucky, but suspiciously lucky. We will explain what we think they might have been up to, what mathematics says about it, and what further investigations revealed.

Poster PDF