A good omen?
January 1, 2002 11:09 AM   Subscribe

A good omen? Here's hoping 2002 turns out to be a better year than 2001. This seems like a good enough start.
posted by tsumo (10 comments total)
I thought 2001 was a good year.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:45 PM on January 1, 2002

What were the winning numbers? Are there really two '2's and two '0's in the lot?
posted by Qubit at 1:18 PM on January 1, 2002

Qubit, it's a standard pick-four format -- four numbers in a row, each of which can run from 0 to 9. Official results. Naturally this is great publicity for the lottery, but it's actually not that incredible a coincidence -- the odds of getting a particular 4-digit sequence are 1 in 10,000 (think it over). The odds that sometime during the year you'll draw the year's numbers are a mere 1 in 27 (but with more games than the payout it's no better a bet than any other). The odds that this will happen on New Year's Day over the course of a (guesssing) 20-year lifetime of this particular game are just 1 in 500. That it might happen over 20 years with four-number lotteries in (guessing) 20 states is more like 1 in 25.
posted by dhartung at 1:47 PM on January 1, 2002

The Mass Daily Number has been around forever. It uses four separate "wheel of fortune"-type wheels, each with markings from 0 to 9, and a bouncing ball on each one. That's how you get a winning number of 2-0-0-2.
posted by jpoulos at 1:53 PM on January 1, 2002

Er...also what dhartung said.
posted by jpoulos at 1:54 PM on January 1, 2002

The numbers may have been lucky, but they weren't profitable. The payout for hitting all four numbers in order, which usually nets winners thousands of dollars, was just $280.

Personally, I think the omen of us all being lucky, but not profitable in 2002 isn't one that leaves me overly hopeful.

Granted, just being lucky isn't bad, but being lucky with not much to show for it...
posted by crunchland at 2:00 PM on January 1, 2002

a good omen maybe because they were random winning numbers with odds of over 10,000:1 against. but rather bittersweet that the winner only got $280. i dont know about MA's lottery system, but wont that get taxed as well, leaving the winner with less anyway?. not such a good omen. 280? you cant even buy a copy of adobe illustrator for 280.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 2:12 PM on January 1, 2002

The payout is only $280 because so many people had chosen that particular 4-digit number for their ticket. If only a few people had 2-0-0-2, then the payout would have been much much higher.

Whenever you see someone selling information on "How to win big at the lottery", I guarantee you that one of their "tried and tested" methods is to avoid numbers that everyone else chooses: birthdays (1-30, 1-12), years (19xx-200x), and sequences of numbers (1234, 5555). The only "advantage" is that when your numbers come up in the lottery, you will have less chance of splitting the winnings with someone else.
posted by Grum at 2:21 PM on January 1, 2002

The collective subconscious rocks.
posted by crunchland at 5:38 PM on January 1, 2002

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