I stole that title from WNBC’s web site, where they have a similarly titled story. The only reason I bring this to your attention—the story itself is ludicrous on its face—is that it is another piece of evidence that either (A) reporters care more about their hair than the organ under it, or (B) reporters are willing to say anything to gain viewers.
Of course, both (A) and (B) might be true.
It’s Friday afternoon; we might as well have a laugh. Here’s the story
Verlyn and Judith Adamson of Mount Horeb each claimed a $350,000 jackpot this week for having the winning numbers in the state SuperCash drawing last Saturday.
But they didn’t mention at the time that they also held two more of the winning tickets.
They claimed two more $350,000 jackpots Thursday. All four were purchased at different locations, but with the same numbers and for the same drawing…Verlyn Adamson, an accountant, said earlier in the week that he’s a big fan of math puzzles. He claims he developed a formula for lottery picks, but his winnings have been small until now.
[Their lawyer] said the Adamsons are “exploring patent protection” for the equation.
OK, I’ll bite. Why mention that they bought the tickers at different locations? It’s the same set of numbers on each ticket for the same drawing! It makes no difference where you bought them. The “reporter” obviously didn’t bother to look up the fact that the SuperCash drawing is a standard ball draw: “Choose 6 different numbers from 1 through 39” (it took me nearly 30 seconds to find this; time I could have spent combing my hair).
You can, in this lottery, increase your winnings by buying multiple tickets, a practice which must be exceedingly common. But note that the Adamson’s didn’t win four different draws, just the same draw with four tickets with the same numbers. I feel stupid for harping on that observation, but apparently it wasn’t obvious to the “reporter.” It’s also not clear how many winning tickets they had: according to the SuperCash rules, you get two plays per ticket, so if they had four tickets they would have won eight jackpots, not four. Well, who cares about details?
Poor Adamson is now going to dump a substantial portion of his winnings (those not confiscated by the government) on a patent application for a formula for winning the lottery. I doubt his lawyer, who will of course be paid a fee, will discourage them. But I fear (and hope) the Patent Office won’t oblige them in the end.
If I were a cynic, I’d guess Adamson and his lawyer don’t care about the patent. It’s likely that they will be willingly persuaded to part with the formula for a fee, perhaps several times. How else did the “reporter” get the story in the first place?
I wonder how many people who pay for access to his formula will wonder why he’s selling it, because Adamson could make a boatload more by just using it himself.
Oh, yes. The reporter, as he must have learned in J School, provided balance by quoting a mathematician saying (in politer language than this) that Adamson was crazy.
If, and I know the odds of this are vanishingly small, any reader wants to know why such a formula is impossible, just ask and I’ll create a post explaining it.