Saturday, July 29, 2006

Beating The Odds

Something for you to consider:

I took a stats course in graduate school that was taught by the manager of General Motors' seat belt division in Detroit (you're asking - a statistician was in charge of seat belt design and manufacture? Yes. He was there to calculate failure rates, which there always will be, no matter how safe they become. Six sigma and all that.).

Anyway, I remember him asking the following question of his students one day:

If you were to take all the different kinds of gaming in Las Vegas - roulette, slots, craps, blackjack, etc. - rolled them together and calculated the odds of a person winning, what percentage of the time would a person beat the house and come away a winner?

Answers ranged from 1% to 10%.

In fact, your chances of winning are 49.5%. Nearly every other time you sit down to gamble, odds are you're going to come away with some extra cash. Nearly being the key word. It is that 0.5% that makes Las Vegas rich. If you think about it, if the odds were remote, you'd never come back for more. It only makes sense.

That being the case, I'm here to tell you I beat the odds this week in my four fun-filled days in Atlantic City. I broke even. I didn't bet a dime.

So I came out 0.5% ahead of the casinos. And spent the money on beer. I was a winner all the way around.

My Kinda Hotel

I rolled into Richmond yesterday morning at 2:00 am, was checked in by 2:05, and was in bed at 2:09.

Holiday Inn Express indeed.