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Wednesday, 25 October 1995, 12:00AM

Factorials, Fortunes and Fallacies

Professor Ian Stewart FRS

“How to win the Lottery (or at least not lose by much)...”

His lecture examines the mathematics behind the lottery – probability theory – and exposes several popular fallacies about it. For example: do you improve your chances of winning by sticking to the same numbers every week, or by swapping? Are your chances improved by avoiding last week’s numbers? Does a random-looking sequence like 4,19,25,27,42,46 have a better chance than a patterned one like 1,2,3,4,5,6?

It also examines strategies and systems for maximizing winnings. What sequence you bet on, and when you bet, do make a difference...

professor-ian-stewart-frs

Ian Stewart read Mathematics at Churchill College, Cambridge before completing his doctorate at the University of Warwick where he is now a Professor of Maths. He was the first recipient of the Christopher Zeeman medal and has held visiting professorships in the United States, Germany and New Zealand. He has given the Royal Institution Christmas lectures and is a fellow of the Royal Society. He was the Gresham Professor of Geometry between 1994 and 1998.

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