Lottery Confusion

150_coolcashA British Lottery scratch-off game sold by Camelot stores had to be pulled from circulation after the math involved confused too many players. The Cool Cash Lotto ticket dealt with temperatures, often below zero. To win a prize, the temperature number under the scratch off had to be lower than the one displayed on the card.
Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme, called Camelot after failing to win with several cards.

The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: "On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.

"I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it."

This may be the definitive proof of the old saying: the lottery is a tax on people who aren’t good at math. Link -via reddit

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you all must have real sad lives.....to be on here commenting about something soooo small.....have you not got noyhing better to do with you're lives????and 9/10 yanks are as thick as fuck.......comment back to that wankers.............................................
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#24 (sickb*stard) -
Apparently, you aren't too hot at reading comprehension, either. Read my first paragraph in which I wrote: "I thought it was only we Americans who are so retarded in basic mathematics."

Let me explain the complicated irony here... I recognized that the article was about math-morons in the UK and was saying basically "hmmm... I thought that was only a problem in the US", and then expounded further upon that. Hope that helps. Thanks for playing.
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Hooray! Now lotteries are a *literal* tax on the mathematically-challenged!

And props to JD for pointing out that higher math *isn't* a more convoluted form of algebra. I'm not at that level in mathematics (I'm a lowly Calculus 3 student instead of in signal processing classes), but JD has a good point. Whenever I tell people that I'm in calculus, they just ask, "so you're really good at factoring, eh?" ... lol @ them :)

Anyway, I don't it's representative of schools as much as the lack of reinforcement at home. I don't know about the older generations since I'm 17, but from what I've seen far too much football and not enough reading takes place at home. My proof is the HUGE drive at my school for any kind of sports, including dedicated assemblies to champion the efforts of the sports teams while demand for FIRST Robotics is 8 kids out of 2400, and 0 recognition goes to the Science Bowl teams when they get into the national competitions every year.

When parents are more focused on sports than they are on educating their children, serious problems occur. Children, especially when they're around 5-10, pick up on their parents values. When little Johnny comes home from school and sees his dad watching football with a can of beer every day, so will little Johnny he grows up. My parents never liked sports and they were driven by their parents (who had college degrees and whose parents, grandparents and great grandparents also had degrees) to get the best education possible. Guess what happened? They read to me every day, helped me with my homework and rewarded my academic successes with little parties. Guess what? I'm pretty bright myself :)

I've grown up side-by-side with someone in my Scouting troop who has a family of sports-addicts, always going to sporting events. He's in the varsity football team, but he's running straight C's and he never does homework. He's just as smart as I am, but he's going to a local community college instead of one of the top-notch private schools despite his parents' obscene amount of wealth.

On that note, Sid's comment about how China is going to pass us up soon has a fair amount of truth. EVERYONE in China and India wants to be an engineer, scientist or mathematician. In a nation that has more honors kids than we have kids in the first place, East Asia poses a pretty big threat. I don't mean to be one of those "zOMG CHINA WE R SCREWED!!1!" people, but even though the US and Western Europe are far better off, the Chinese and Indians are catching up fast. How this "race of nations" works itself out is anyone's guess, but the outlook isn't too bright when the most successful nations can't figure out a lotto ticket. Then again, China's number of unemployed is worsening as well so we'd all do well to take the above factoid with a grain of salt :)

I do realize that this is a post about Britain and I ranted about the US, but the links between this lotto ticket and "Verizon Math" (Google it; it's hilarious) are unmistakable... it seems to be a growing problem across the Western nations. And there you have it, a day's supply of food for thought!
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You'd think that temperature would be relatively easy for people who otherwise have no math skills to get. I guess that's one of the many wonders of the Fahrenheit scale (less likely to have to deal with negative temperatures), but it's still a useful, "non-mathematical" skill that you'd think more people would have, like dividing things into groups or vaguely estimating distance.
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@Alex

right on man! so many people think higher math is just a more complicated version of synthetic division. It took me a while to understand a laplace transform but it was also a completely different way of thinking than factoring an algebra problem
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