Friday, February 17, 2006

Numbers game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Numbers game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Numbers game
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The Numbers Game is a lottery game where the bettor attempts to pick three or four numbers from zero to nine that will be randomly drawn. Before the advent of state-operated lotteries, the gambler would place his or her bet with a bookie. Today, state lotteries offer this game as the Daily Numbers Game.
In the old numbers game, the payoff for a one dollar bet was six hundred dollars. One of the game's attractions to low income and working class bettors was the ability to bet small amounts of money. Usually a gambler could bet as little as ten cents with the possibility of winning sixty dollars. Also bookies, unlike state lotteries, could extend credit to the bettor.
In the northeastern United States this game was known as the 'Nigger Pool'. This reflected the belief that the game originated in black neighborhoods.
One of the problems of the early game was to find a way to draw a random number that the bookie could not be accused of choosing unfairly. One method was to take the last three numbers in the published daily balance of the United States Treasury. When the Treasury began rounding off the balance many bookies began to use the 'mutuel' number. This number consisted of the last dollar digit of the daily total handle of the Win, Place and Show bets at a local race track, read from top to bottom.
For example, if the daily handle was:
Win.. $1001.23
Place. $582.56
Show... $27.61
then the daily number was 127.
This variant of the numbers game, where the number depends on an event beyond the bookie's control, is sometimes called a policy game.
In 1875, a report of a select committee of the New York State Assembly stated that 'the low mean worst form Lottery.

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