Luck -Mathematics and luck in life.

What links these photographs?- well money is one of them, but luck is another. Hope that the role of luck or mathematics is seen in a different way by the end of this little piece

Well to start off there is a picture of a large store decorated for Christmas. And then there are those lottery tickets. Ah, so this piece is about money! Not entirely, Money is certainly needed for Christmas and if you are lucky enough to have some then you can visit the large Department stores. They certainly have very desirable items and yes the prices are such that only the lucky few can regularly shop there.

The picture also shows 3 buses all in a line. I’m not sure if you’ve seen it but there is a very interesting book entitled ” Why do Buses come in Threes” by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham. I bought it on a visit to the Science Museum when with family. The explanation of the title is in the end quite simple.

When the bus timetable is set out the buses are at regular intervals. At bus stop one there may be quite a number of passengers who all need to get on. The tendency of course is to get on the first bus as one is never sure when the next one is due. So bus one is slowed and bus 2 gets to go faster and so narrows the time interval. By this time there are calls from down the route that the first bus (partly delayed by number of passengers) is not running to time. So a third bus is dispatched. Being that buses 1 and 2 have collected all the likely passengers bus 3 speeds along and so and we get ” Why buses run in threes”

All fine, but why does that link to the luck of the lottery? There is a specific chapter in the book just about buying lottery tickets. Well, we all want to win and regularly buy tickets. (as you can see I also buy and occasionally get a luck dip win). Its just that we have an uncertain view about risk. The book explains which day should you buy your lottery ticket for Saturday’s draw. It came as a surprise to learn that if one buys a lottery ticket many days before the Saturday one has a greater risk of experiencing some calamity than winning the lottery. Think being struck by lightening and so on.

So why do I mention this?- well, first it helped me put my ideas of winning and risk in a different light. Also it has made me look again at how every body would benefit if the Heritage Lottery Funding was considered equally by all of us as much as the very small chance of personally winning. There are many worthwhile projects which rely on these funds.

The National Lottery funds all sorts of projects more details here

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The other way to look at the matter is that one has reached retirement age and so is definitely a winner.
I am already planning another blog about luck so hope that you will look out for it.

Consider every day as such a lucky break. I hope this inspires you to enjoy your retirement.

If however you do get more than 3 buses in a line is that some kind of signal? And what if it is 5 ( admittedly these are not all going in the same direction)

What if there are 3 buses in front of St Pauls
What does it mean if this now becomes 4/5 buses on the same bridge?

So how do you check your lottery numbers? see the National lottery checker as per the link below.

Personally I prefer the famous slogan from Ghostbusters which says ” Who you going to call”. I believe the link below leads to just that

If you do win the lottery however, then here is an inspiring shop window display for the teddy bear lottery winners at Christmas

Categories: Luck

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