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Math Government United States

Green Card Lottery Judgment Favors Mathematical Randomness 210

guusbosman writes "Yesterday a district court in Washington, D.C. issued its ruling in a case that boiled down to the definition of 'strictly random.' In the 2011 drawing of the U.S. 'Green Card Lottery,' a computer programming error was made and two weeks after the official drawing of the lottery the Department of State closed the website and voided the results. A lawsuit sought an injunction claiming that, while the process was not mathematically random, it was random in the dictionary definition of 'without definite aim, direction, rule or method.' The court, analyzing language from the State Department's regulations, and examples from laws on casinos and the like, rejected that and came out in favor of a mathematical definition of randomness. The lottery is voided and the results of the new drawing came out today at noon EST."
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Green Card Lottery Judgment Favors Mathematical Randomness

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead