Winner of lottery 4x times outed as Stanford U statistics PhD

  • zengrifter

    Winner of lottery 4x times outed as Stanford U statistics PhD

    Winner of lottery four times outed as Stanford University statistics PhD

    By RACHEL QUIGLEY | Daily Mail | 9th August 2011

    She was called the luckiest woman in the world.

    But now that luck is being called into question by some who think that winning the lottery four times is more than just a coincidental spell of good fortune. Joan R. Ginther, 63, from Texas, won multiple million dollar payouts each time.

    First, she won $5.4 million, then a decade later, she won $2million, then two years later $3million and in the summer of 2010, she hit a $10million jackpot. The odds of this has been calculated at one in eighteen septillion and luck like this could only come once every quadrillion years.

    Harper’s reporter Nathanial Rich recently wrote an article about Ms Ginther, which calls the the validity of her ‘luck’ into question. First, he points out, Ms Ginther is a former math professor with a PhD from Stanford University specialising in statistics.

    A professor at the Institute for the Study of Gambling & Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, told Mr Rich: ‘When something this unlikely happens in a casino, you arrest ‘em first and ask questions later.’

    Although Ms Ginther now lives in Las Vegas, she won all four of her lotteries in Texas. Three of her wins, all in two-year intervals, were by scratch-off tickets bought at the same mini mart in the town of Bishop.

    Mr Rich details the myriad ways in which Ms Ginther could have gamed the system – including the fact that she may have figured out the algorithm that determines where a winner is placed in each run of scratch-off tickets.

    He believes that after Ms Ginther figured out the algorithm, it wouldn’t be difficult to determine where the tickets would be shipped, as the shipping schedule is apparently fixed, and there were a few sources she could have found it out from.

    According to Forbes, the residents of Bishop, Texas, seem to believe God was behind it all.

    The Texas Lottery Commission told Mr Rich that Ms Ginther must have been ‘born under a lucky star’, and that they don’t suspect foul play.

    xxx

  • tthree

     

    Is the Texas scratch off a beatable format like the lottery in Conn. and Michigan? Winning at regular intervals seem to suggest it is a possible explanation. How many tickets did she buy? Do these cards have codes on them that help to authenticate they are winning tickets?

  • shadroch

     

    none of that would explain how three winning tickets got delivered to the same mini-mart.

  • FLASH1296

     

    shadroch’s point is well-taken

    Something crooked is going on here.

    I am imagining that there are several tens of thousands of lottery ticket vendors.

    While it is extraordinarily unlikely for one vendor to sell multiple BIG winners —

    in a small burg no less — but the SAME purchaser cashing them !

    L.O.L. The perfect cover — A Ph.D. in stat … The PERFECT crime !

  • tthree

     

    Quote: FLASH1296 said:
    shadroch’s point is well-taken

    Something crooked is going on here.

    I am imagining that there are several tens of thousands of lottery ticket vendors.

    While it is extraordinarily unlikely for one vendor to sell multiple BIG winners —

    in a small burg no less — but the SAME purchaser cashing them !

    L.O.L. The perfect cover — A Ph.D. in stat … The PERFECT crime !

    In Maryland the store gets around $100,000 for selling a big ticket winner. Someone makes sure it gets to that store and they have a way to tell what ticket is the big one. Is there a way to “see” through the card or the scratch off coating? Maybe a bar code that verifies the tickets authenticity also tells it is the big winner. The store owner is probably letting her examine all the tickets. If someone is making sure the big one gets to the store maybe they are flagging it in some way.

  • zengrifter

     

    Actually there is or was a valid AP strategy on some state scratchers. There are a few notables who figured it out and made impressive wins.
    I think it has something to do with with both the code number and the first window scratched. zg

  • aslan

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    Actually there is or was a valid AP strategy on some state scratchers. There are a few notables who figured it out and made impressive wins.
    I think it has something to do with with both the code number and the first window scratched. zg

    Either that or some way, as suggested above, that someone could “read” the telltale code as to which one was the winning ticket. I can see someone associated with the store going through thousands of tickets each delivery with some kind of homemade reader. Then, upon discovering a lottery winner, he/she promptly calls his or her cohort in crime and she visits the store to “purchase” the winning ticket. Law enforcement should check the bank accounts of all persons associated with the store in question for a sudden increases in deposits. Of course, they might keep their part of the “take” in a mason jar in the backyard. My guess is that someone is sporting a new sports car, or power boat, or new home with their share of the loot.

  • shadroch

     

    What are the odds of three jackpot winning tickets ending up at the same store? You could search thru every ticket that came into your store for 13 years and never hit one jackpot, let alone four.
    I’m inclined to believe its luck,only because anyone who could pull this off wouldn’t be so stupid to have one person cash in all four tix.

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: aslan said:
    Either that or some way, as suggested above, that someone could “read” the telltale code as to which one was the winning ticket. I can see someone associated with the store going through thousands of tickets each delivery with some kind of homemade reader. Then, upon discovering a lottery winner, he/she promptly calls his or her cohort in crime and she visits the store to “purchase” the winning ticket. Law enforcement should check the bank accounts of all persons associated with the store in question for a sudden increases in deposits. Of course, they might keep their part of the “take” in a mason jar in the backyard. My guess is that someone is sporting a new sports car, or power boat, or new home with their share of the loot.

    Its a combination of both the code and the first scratch, as I recall.
    Nothing illegal. zg

  • zengrifter

     

    Here –

    Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code – WIRED Feb 2011

    That night, however, he realized that the voice was right: The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.

    The trick itself is ridiculously simple. (Srivastava would later teach it to his 8-year-old daughter.) Each ticket contained eight tic-tac-toe boards, and each space on those boards—72 in all—contained an exposed number from 1 to 39. As a result, some of these numbers were repeated multiple times. Perhaps the number 17 was repeated three times, and the number 38 was repeated twice. And a few numbers appeared only once on the entire card. Srivastava’s startling insight was that he could separate the winning tickets from the losing tickets by looking at the number of times each of the digits occurred on the tic-tac-toe boards.

    In other words, he didn’t look at the ticket as a sequence of 72 random digits. Instead, he categorized each number according to its frequency, counting how many times a given number showed up on a given ticket. “The numbers themselves couldn’t have been more meaningless,” he says. “But whether or not they were repeated told me nearly everything I needed to know.” Srivastava was looking for singletons, numbers that appear only a single time on the visible tic-tac-toe boards. He realized that the singletons were almost always repeated under the latex coating. If three singletons appeared in a row on one of the eight boards, that ticket was probably a winner.

    Full story = http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1

  • aslan

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    Here –

    Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code – WIRED Feb 2011

    That night, however, he realized that the voice was right: The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.

    The trick itself is ridiculously simple. (Srivastava would later teach it to his 8-year-old daughter.) Each ticket contained eight tic-tac-toe boards, and each space on those boards—72 in all—contained an exposed number from 1 to 39. As a result, some of these numbers were repeated multiple times. Perhaps the number 17 was repeated three times, and the number 38 was repeated twice. And a few numbers appeared only once on the entire card. Srivastava’s startling insight was that he could separate the winning tickets from the losing tickets by looking at the number of times each of the digits occurred on the tic-tac-toe boards.

    In other words, he didn’t look at the ticket as a sequence of 72 random digits. Instead, he categorized each number according to its frequency, counting how many times a given number showed up on a given ticket. “The numbers themselves couldn’t have been more meaningless,” he says. “But whether or not they were repeated told me nearly everything I needed to know.” Srivastava was looking for singletons, numbers that appear only a single time on the visible tic-tac-toe boards. He realized that the singletons were almost always repeated under the latex coating. If three singletons appeared in a row on one of the eight boards, that ticket was probably a winner.

    Full story = http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1

    Can we agree that we can’t trust them guvmint guys to git anything straight?

  • aslan

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    Maybe this will help —

    Dang, the Zen Zone under attack! Maybe they need to develop an alternative Internet for conspiracy theories, similar to the exile of the Zen Zone to an alternative website. Is it too late for Ken to call Washington? He may become the new Internet Czar!

  • Marlin

     

    Quote: tthree said:
    Is the Texas scratch off a beatable format like the lottery in Conn. and Michigan?

    Add the Canadian Lottery to that list.

    Marlin

The BlackjackInfo Knowledge Base contains over 200,000 messages posted by the BlackjackInfo community.

Posting and replies to the knowledge base are no longer available, but comments and replies are welcomed on the blog.