Statistics and the Ontario Lottery Retailer Scandal

by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, July 2013

(Published in CHANCE Magazine 27(1), 2014.)

(Later republished in Best Writing on Mathematics 2015, and in Chinese by this group.)

This article describes the role that simple statistical analysis played in exposing the Ontario lottery retailer scandal, which ended up becoming major front-page news in Canada and leading to numerous consequences including legislative debate, the firing of two CEOs, several criminal charges, jail time, and payouts totalling over twenty million dollars.

Read the full article (pdf) [or in postscript]

(Full text of all of the associated references and newspaper articles are available as hyperlinks within the article. Alternatively, you can browse the references directly -- including my original analysis, the original CBC television episode, the front-page Globe article, and a later summary article. See also the version without references (pdf) [or in postscript], the published version, a short teaching supplement, my book, and some related links.)

[After this article was completed, later related U.S. investigations that I was somewhat involved with found similar fraudulent retailer lottery wins in Florida and Boston and Atlanta and Indiana and in Iowa and Vermont; see also a PennLive investigation.]

-- Jeffrey S. Rosenthal (contact me) (book) (other non-research writings)