Spotted the nice story about the lottery winner today, who had both dreamed about a win, and his daughter had been told by a mystery woman that she would win the lottery.
That got me thinking for fun about the science of winning and predicting, and the ability of people in this respect, which I’ve touched on before in a short paper from 1999, and a related blog on the practical value of luck involving 9/11.
One way of looking at this is to consider another theme, even if a coincidence is interesting from an academic point of view, its value is significantly amended by a real event. This the mystery woman’s prediction to the daughter now has significance because of the win. Thus, obviously, prediction increases in value when it turns out to be true. But the flipside of this the only way to get better at prediction is through trial and error (or the belief that lucky underwear can help at interviews?!).
Another feature of this story is the concept of lucky numbers, which I picked up on recently with the number 17. And by coincidence that’s one of the numbers in the lottery win (7, 16, 17, 23, 29, and 34).
What was a nice twist on this lucky number theme was on Saturday when I joined the Gala Casino in Leicester with Shirls, and was given an introductory tour by a nice lady. When I asked her what her lucky number was she replied ’15’ so no luck on number 17. But then she added, “the reason it’s 15 is that’s my birthday, which is tomorrow”.