Here we learned that when a woman might need to live through 3 successive universes (or something) to get so lucky in the Texas Lottery, the Commission just shrugged and said she was “born under a lucky star.” Others muttered that she was lucky all right … to be a Stanford math Ph.D. Why must the Commission pretend it’s luck?
Because if, as some suspect, she did it by figuring out the algorithm by which winning numbers are chosen, she probably committed no crime. Criminal charges are for those who, for example, run a variety store and pocket the winnings of feeble pensioners. But more, if the Commission itself suspects that is what happened, they can’t afford to acknowledge it.
They would, in effect, be saying that the Lottery is a game of skill, not chance, and open the door to a host of similar attempts by young math whizzes.
And the simple plods who buy most of the tickets get the message: Go back to wasting your time and money at the horse races. (At least you get an afternoon’s entertainment out of it.)
What would happen to the Commission’s bottom line if the Lottery becomes the next World Class Poker Tournament? Viewers don’t pay the way lottery ticket buyers do.
The design inference is probably more unpopular with lottery commissions than with the Darwin lobby. And it’ll stay that way.
That Smart French GuyTM was right: A lottery is a tax on imbeciles.
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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.