Friday, November 30, 2007

News of the Weird - 2

This from Chuck Shepherd's section in the Chicago Reader:

A new UK lottery game called "Cool Cash" was canceled earlier this month after less than a week of play because the arithmetic involved proved [to be] too difficult. Participants were required to compare a temperature visible on the game card to a second temperature hidden behind a scratch-off panel; if the second temperature was lower, the card was a winner.

Doesn't sound so hard yet, does it?

But in accordance with the game's winter theme, many of the temperatures were below zero, and officials said they received numerous complaints from players who couldn't understand why, for example, -5 wasn't lower than -6.

To quote directly from a blindsided victim that the Manchester Evening News interviewed:

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. I think Camelot are giving people the wrong impression - the card doesn't say to look for a colder or warmer temperature, it says to look for a higher or lower number. Six is a lower number than 8. Imagine how many people have been misled.

And this is in the United Kingdom? God bless the Queen.


  1. You mean that the larger numbers are smaller than bigger numbers if they have that little dash in front of them??? Give me a break!

  2. yes, art.

    for example, in temperature, we measure the amount of heat in an area. now we know that -6 degrees has less heat than -4 degrees. therefore, -6 is a lesser quantity than -4.

    i've been teaching pre-Algebra this week. does it show?

  3. But, see, 6 is a larger number than 4. So you can see why our Brit friends are confused. I nominate you, Jasdye, to travel across the pond to enlighten them.

  4. we actually just had some very important dignitaries from the curriculum dept. in England come to visit our school yesterday.

    maybe it'll trickle down.


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