This is an interesting story if I’ve ever heard of one. There is a woman who has hit the Texas lottery an amazing four times for a million dollars or more. The statistical probability of this happening is so low that it is basically impossible. However, the story has been confirmed and the lady has indeed won more than $20 million across four separate instances.
Here’s a quick recap of the lucky woman’s four lottery wins:
1993: She wins $5.4 million with a Lotto Texas ticket. She opts for the $270,000 a year payment plan for 19 years.
2006: She wins $2 million in the Holiday Millionaire game. She opts for a lump sum payment of $1.5 million.
2008: She wins $3 million in a lottery game of Millions and Millions.
2010: She wins her biggest prize yet: $10 million in the Texas Lottery $140,000,000 Extreme Payout game.
But Wait – There’s a Twist
New information surfaced this week that there may be more to the story. It was revealed this week that the “lucky” woman is a former math professor with a PhD from Stanford University with a specialization in statistics.
This piece of information, in my opinion, is the final nail in the coffin for the “lucky as hell” theory surrounding this woman. First of all, the odds of her winning the lottery four times are so low that something like this happening could be expected to happen once every 1,000,000,000,000,0000 years. That’s a one followed by fifteen zeros.
The odds of this happening are so ridiculously low that it’s much more plausible this woman is privy to some sort of inside information. A loose interpretation of Occam’s Razor strongly suggests that this lady has found a way to game the system. The odds otherwise are just too low to be plausible.
This new information about her PhD in statistics nearly cements the idea that the lucky woman used either her brains or inside information to win the lottery four times. If this woman would have pulled any similar feat at a casino, you can be sure she would have a lot of explaining to do.
And think about this: anyone with a PhD in statistics would know that the lottery is a bad game. The odds are so stacked against the player that it would make any Vegas casino blush. She would know that scratch cards yield a negative return. This lady knows better than to buy so many lottery tickets every week.
A Lesson to Take Away from All This
There are actually two lessons we can learn from this story.
The first lesson is to always be skeptical. If an event defies the odds to such a degree that it’s completely implausible, there’s probably more to the story. No matter what you may know about any subject, there will eventually be an event that blows your knowledge out of the water. Look up the term “black swan events” some time.
The second lesson is to always think outside the box and disregard it when people tell you things are “impossible.” This is a lesson I need to remember. For example, I’ve always gone around telling people that the lottery is a stupid tax and that it’s completely impossible to pick up patterns or game the system. (Exception).
For the average person, my advice has been good advice. But if this lady would have listened to me and gave up on winning the lottery, she would still be an average person somewhere struggling to pay her bills. Instead, she somehow found a way to game the system and win the lottery four times. Amazing.