Beating the odds

I have had to travel outdoors on three separate occasions today, each in a separate hour of the day.  On each occasion the Met Office had suggested the probability of rain was <5% (which is as unlikely as they will ever admit rain to be in these temperate, maritime lands).  On each occasion, I was rained upon.  Given that the Met Office had the opportunity to revise their estimates after each bout of rain, but left them unchanged I am going to assume that there was no cross-correlation between the three incidents of rain.  So, today I have already beaten odds of 8000-1 – and probably much greater than that as the probability of rain could have been a lot less than 5%.

Part of me likes to think that the clustering of extreme events around me makes it a good time to buy a lottery ticket.  The lapsed mathematician within tells that part that this is arrant nonsense, the “system” has no memory and there is no reason to believe that becoming unexpectedly damp correlates in the slightest degree with the (presumably) random choice of plastic balls.  However, if anyone (of a less rational or more hopeful bent) is interested my pick for the next National Lottery draw is: 33, 35, 37, 39, 46 and 48 (Bonus Ball 1).  If anyone chooses these numbers and, as a result, becomes insanely wealthy I shall expect a modest cut!

Incidentally, if those numbers do win big at the next draw (whenever that is) I may have to rethink the whole basis of my life.  At the very least it would be deeply disturbing…

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