Monday, January 25, 2010

Ohio Mega Millions Lottery not very Random?

Do you play the Ohio Mega Millions Lottery? Do you always check your ticket's numbers?

We do play the lottery on occasion. Specifically, when the amount of the Mega Millions goes at or above 100 Million dollars. We do an office pool, $2 per person. We purchase the tickets at lunch, on the day of the drawing and then email a scan of them all to whomever participated in the group buy.

Here's where things get interesting. We purchased our tickets Friday, January 22nd 2010 at a local Columbus Ohio Lottery vendor. We do the auto-lotto, so that it generates the numbers for us.

One would think "auto lotto" would be fairly random.

One would be wrong! Look at the these two tickets!

identical numbers different tickets

The Ohio Lottery Mega Million's random ticket number generator gave *two* tickets with the exact same numbers in one setting. Even statistically speaking, this should *never* happen. Yet it did.

It's one thing if the ticket's a winner, but if it's not, then for every two tickets your purchase you may in affect only be purchasing one ticket's worth of chances to win the lottery.

(Note: I blurred out the actual main parts of the ticket numbers, because each ticket is actually a $2 winner.)

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Mac Tablet Predictions: Mobile Bonus

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon (daring fireball and John Siracusa), among many others by now...

Yes, it'll have a ~10 inch screen. And do graphics. And video. No, it's not CocoaTouch, it's CocoaTouch+. It'll have iWork installed on it (Siracusa). One of the things everyone's seemed to miss is the way the Tablet will pimp Apple's Mobile Me.

Many of the people who will purchase the new Apple Tablet at launch already own one Mac. Maybe even a Mac and an iPhone, but definitely one Mac. So they purchase a Mac Tablet (to be one of the cool kids? who knows). But they want all their stuff on the Tablet, just like their other machine. I mean, who wants to be in the computer room on the desktop iMac, then later lounging on the couch with the Tablet and not have their bookmarks syncing. Or not be able to get to their files? (How many mac people do you associate with that can mount remote disk shares from other computers?[1]) If it's not "just there" on the Tablet, people will have "issues" with the device.

A simple Mobile Me subscription solves all this. Everything's in sync and the user doesn't have to do squat. And it's more income for Apple. It'll be another neatly wrapped tie-in to another Apple product that prompts you to open your wallet even further for Apple's coffers, and there'll be many many people in line soon to do it. Heck, just think of 125k developers, many of them will purchase the thing. Not that they'll use it but they'll most assuredly better become aquainted with it to write code for it, not to mention testing (and bragging on #iphonedev about your purchase). And yes, count me in that group that'll be buying it. <sigh>

[1] I'm not harping on Mac users. Most windows users have the same issue. Hell, most computer users have the same issue.
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