small correction

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 17:10:10 MST

Oops. Sent that last rant within re-reading.

At 05:04 PM 12/31/2005 -0600, I wrote:

>The Mega Millions lottery requires you to identify five numbers out of 56
>and an additional one number out of 46. Quickly now, tell me your
>brilliant protocol for achieving this aim given a phenomenon that
>manifests itself as an excess of (at best) one extra correct guess in a
>hundred. It takes you 100,000 guesses to attain one standard deviation,
>which is hardly enough to instil confidence.

Two standard deviations, not one, where sigma is root Npq. For each bit. I
was assuming a binary coded version of the winning string. In Australian
Tattslotto, 6 numbers from 45 had a p of 1 in 8,145,060, which can be coded
into 23 bits. So you needed to punch in not just 100,000 guesses (for a
single binary element), but 2,300,000 for the full winning set, at this
modest level of confidence. Sure, go for it. Every week, why not?

>But this, too, is a procedure -- like according one's memory of dreams --
>prey to all kinds of noise, second-guessing, elaboration.

I dictated "recording one's memory" but this machine is easily confused...

Damien Broderick

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