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Proving Nonrandomness

From an amusing recent article in the NY Times:

" The jury found him guilty on July 20, 2015. He would be sentenced to 10 years in prison, and he would appeal. The State Supreme Court later dismissed his conviction on one charge, tampering with lottery equipment, and the case was sent back to District Court."

What had happened was that a winning lottery ticket worth 16.5 Mega$ had not been cashed and therefore drew the attention of the organizers. When the ticket was finally presented a year late, at the last possible moment, a lawyer held it, acting for a corporation with which a man was associated who was a friend of the information-security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association.

During the trial of the security director it could not be established how he manipulated the system, and thus also not with certainty that he manipulated it.

There was further circumstantial evidence: a security video showing the ticket being sold to a person wearing a hood and a cap, a voice recording but no picture of his face etc., all consistent with appearance of the accused, for whom buying a lottery ticket is illegal.

So judges have trouble with probabilities, not only when bridge players cough.   

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