Saturday, November 10, 2007

impossible negative

From Good Math, Bad Math

The British lottery put out a "scratch-off" game called "Cool Cash". The idea of it is that it's got a target temperature on the card, and to win, you need uncover only temperatures colder than the target. Simple, right?

Since Britain is on the metric system, they measure temperatures in Celsius. So naturally, some of the temperatures end up being below zero. And that's where the trouble came in. So many people didn't know that below zero, larger numbers are lower and thus colder, that the lottery had to withdraw the game!

To quote one of the "victims":

On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.

I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it.



5 comments:

Nathaniel said...

There must be something about these scratchers that clearly attracts people who lack a primary education.

Too funny, and kind of sad.

Mithridates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mithridates said...

This is the funniest thing I've heard in exactly negative-seven-and-a-half months. Which means that it will be the funniest thing for the next the 7 1/2 months? Or: wait. Uh.

I love stories about Brits being stupid b/c Americans always think that the dumbest Brit is smarter than the smartest American. As Michael Bluth says in season 3 on Arrested D, after he dates a character played by Charleze Theron for a few months before realizing she's mentally retarded, I guess the accent really fooled me.

Jenny Davidson said...

Oh god...

Anonymous said...

funny!
smb