Odds
It is drawn twice daily. I visited the Lotto website to confirm for myself the Ananova article we read yesterday on this website.
Since there are three numbers drawn from 0 to 9, the odds of a given combination coming up in a draw are 1 in 1,000, and the odds of one given number coming up on a given day are slightly better.
I was surprised to see the tape of the drawing on the evening news (a local station). The lottery machine attendant seemed to be remarkably dispassionate when she announced the numbers.
You have to be careful when thinking about probability to calculate the relevant probability: for example, it is irrelevant that the number 9-1-1 happens to be the date of the draw and that it is a significant historical anniversary--the odds of 9-1-3 coming up today are the same--one in a thousand.
I had a remarkable coincidence happen to me. I was rewinding my VCR and decided to stop at the number 3:14:16 just for a lark to see what was at that point on the tape. It was Homer Simpson saying the word "pie". Pie/pi, get it? Since my tape holds approximately six hours worth of material, the odds of the word "pie" being at an particular point are close to one in 21,600. Actually my tape holds about 6 hours and 12 minutes.
This is the odds of Homer saying "pie" at the time 3:14:16 assuming that you already know that "pie" is on the tape at some random point.
But, of course, I could have stopped at 3:14:00 or 3:14:15 and it would still have been a "pi" coincidence.
Coincidences which appear significant are called "synchronicities" by Dr. Karl Jung. The odds often seem longer than they are because you think "Gee, what are the odds of that particular number coming up on this particular day?" when the real question is "What are the odds of a particular number coming up on the date which corresponds to that number, i.e. 9-1-3 on 09/13?"
I always say that the unlikeliest things are bound to happen--there are so many unlikely things that could happen that a few are inevitable over time.
As the famous mathematician and popularizer pointed out, the important number is not the odds of the specific event but the number of such seemingly significant events.
The little Yorkshire girl who was hit by the meteorite was facing odds of one in billions, but so were 6.3 billion of the rest of us.
If the odds of being hit by a meteorite is one in ten billion, then you would expect somebody to be hit by one every couple years--and most of them would blame a prankster--it might take dozens of hits, or even millions, before you got a scientist to identify a meteorite hit as genuine. It doesn't take a conspiracy to keep such things out of the newspapers.
But it is lots of fun when they get in.
Yippie! Slap me with a Mars rock and call me Daffy Duck!