9/1/10

Dumb luck

I receive countless inquiries about the meaning of "kungpowvoodo." (And by 'countless' I mean zero.) For those who find the formal definition wanting, here's a story of kungpowvoodo at work.
For almost two centuries, Spain has hosted an enormously popular Christmas lottery. Based on payout, it is the biggest lottery in the world and nearly all Spaniards play. In the mid 1970s, a man sought a ticket with the last two digits ending in 48. He found a ticket, bought it, and then won the lottery. When asked why he was so intent on finding that number, he replied, "I dreamed of the number seven for seven straight nights. And 7 times 7 is 48."
Via P.A.P. Blog via Michael J. Mauboussin's Untangling Skill and Luck: How to Think about Outcomes--Past, Present, and Future". Mauboussin's source for the anecdote was Stanley Meisler's LA Times article, "First in 1763: Spain Lottery—Not Even a War Stops It" (December 30, 1977, A5).

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