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How to make a super-lucky coin Answered

Saul heard about this sweet idea at the G4G8 conference. It's perfect for an Instructable - hopefully someone is suitably inspired to do it.

Take 40lb's of pennies. Drop them all (equivalent to tossing). Collect all those that were heads and put them back in the bucket. Drop them all again, again choose all those that land heads. Repeat until there is only one coin left. This is the luckiest coin in your bucket.
Apparently, one guy got a coin that tossed 17 heads in a row...


This is actually very easy to accomplish, and it will only cost you a penny. You just have to go to a bank, and ask them for 40lbs of cents. Pay for them, perform the drops, roll the cents back up into their original rolls, and sell them back to the bank. Or put them in the Coin Star, or coin machine that gives you dollars for your cents.

The coin star charges a small "fee" doesn't it?

Sometimes in supermarkets. It is free at most banks. Like Commerce Bank.

Hmm, I haven't used many, in fact I have only seen two or so, in grocers, and they warned about the percentage "kept:". But I believe you that some places would use this as a kind of loss leader to get customers into the store/bank.

Hmm... we did something like this before in science class, to somehow model half-lives. IIRC, we started with 100 pennies, and I personally had one land heads like 8 times.

[Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX94fV4TWbc]
It reminds me of this, some British illusionist's system at horse racing. I linked to the video since its in like 6 parts. (Make sure you view the videos from the same guy)

He isn't so much of an illusionist, more of a psychological trickster.

Er ... URW?

I'm making this up now, of course

According to google, that's "inspiratory wheezing" ... :-/


10 years ago

People who are into roleplaying games (Dungeons & Dragons etc.) also tend to be really into buying lots of different-colored and different-sided dice. Before buying a new die, they will often grab a bunch of identical ones and toss them a few times to see which one is "luckiest". Of course, this just means they select out the dice that are most biased!

Pretty ironic, considering that the dice manufacturers pride themselves on making their dice as unbiased as possible - then their customers go an pick out the "luckiest" ones.

You'd be amazed at how much dice superstition there is out there - and how little grasp of fundamental statistical principles! :-D


10 years ago

So, if the last few I have all turn over to be tails, are they unlucky?

That depends on how far down the line they got. If they have been tossed / dropped 12-14 times already, they are pretty lucky, statistically.

Yes, because that means you should have been selecting for tails, not heads : )

I could be bothered to do it. Maybe I'll start taking some pictures when I get done homework for today.