• The league table lottery
  • Plus and presidents

This is the second part of our new column on risk and uncertainty. David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, continues examining league tables using the Premier League as an example. Find out just how much — or how little — these simple rankings can tell you.

Life is full of coincidences, but how do you work out if something is really as unlikely as it seems? In this article Rob Eastaway and John Haigh find chance in church and work out the odds.

League tables are controversial and for good reason. Few things are simple enough to be measured by a single outcome like, for example, the number of exam passes or successful heart operations. But even if we do accept a single yardstick, we haven't yet reckoned with chance, which by itself can produce apparent patterns to delight any tabloid editor.

This year's prize goes to Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan
The Eternity puzzle is back with a $2 million prize
Winner of the schools category. Dice are invaluable to many games, especially gambling games, but instead of playing with ordinary 1-6 numbered dice here are two interesting alternatives - with a twist!
Runner up in the general public category. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics..." Ben Parker tells us how to tell good statistics from bad, and make sure your cat is well-fed.
Collecting chances
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