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Why do some people feel computerized drawings are not random?

Topic closed. 20 replies. Last post 9 years ago by benmas.

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San Diego, CA
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Posted: February 12, 2008, 9:57 pm - IP Logged

I am new to this board and have been reading some old threads.  I can make a random number generator on my excel spreadsheet that I am 99% certain is random.  Why can't a person with basic programming skills make a random number generator that does as is programmed?  I don't understand why people say that these computerized generators have some sort of memory.  What does that exactly mean?

 

Also, how do I do a search of these forums?  I don't see a search button.

    Pogo's avatar - wfl
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    Posted: February 12, 2008, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

    I guess the simple answer is... People made the computer & the software and because it didn't come from nature it can't be random. Everything the computer is based on is solely the internal clock, it saves files based on the clock, it runs programs based on the clock, it issues commands & receives commands and so much more all based on the clock... Long story short, Excel uses the clock to make you a random number, it may seem random, it may look random, it may feel random, but really all it is - is a glimpse at the internal clock in that brief micro or nano or pico second that it captures a few of the numbers it's running thru its CPU (based on however fast your CPU is). If you let excel run long enough you'll eventually start seeing patterns appear in the numbers. These patterns are similar to the patterns we see in lotto number and yet different all the same. Sorry for rambling on you but if you want some more in depth information I can certainly serve you up a lil something but let me know... Hope this helps, Pogo :-)

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
      Chief Bottle Washer
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      Posted: February 12, 2008, 10:26 pm - IP Logged

      I am new to this board and have been reading some old threads.  I can make a random number generator on my excel spreadsheet that I am 99% certain is random.  Why can't a person with basic programming skills make a random number generator that does as is programmed?  I don't understand why people say that these computerized generators have some sort of memory.  What does that exactly mean?

       

      Also, how do I do a search of these forums?  I don't see a search button.

      Actually, you can't make a random number generator on Excel that is random.  When you generate "random" numbers in Excel, you're actually just spitting out a pre-determined sequence of numbers that starts at whatever seed value you supply.  If you don't supply a seed value, most common RNGs use the computer's internal clock.  If you know the sequence and the seed value, you can accurately predict all the numbers that will come out.

      Search is in the Forums menu.

       

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        BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
        Dump Water Florida
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        Posted: February 12, 2008, 10:44 pm - IP Logged


        If authors like Tom Clancy actually do their research, it is possible to piggy back undetectable code on a cd or dvd used to load a computer with a program.  Millions of dollars can be a very real incentive to learn more about programming when given the chance to program a random number generator for a lottery.  BobP

         

          dalotterybandit's avatar - bandit
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          Posted: February 12, 2008, 11:07 pm - IP Logged

          I guess the simple answer is... People made the computer & the software and because it didn't come from nature it can't be random. Everything the computer is based on is solely the internal clock, it saves files based on the clock, it runs programs based on the clock, it issues commands & receives commands and so much more all based on the clock... Long story short, Excel uses the clock to make you a random number, it may seem random, it may look random, it may feel random, but really all it is - is a glimpse at the internal clock in that brief micro or nano or pico second that it captures a few of the numbers it's running thru its CPU (based on however fast your CPU is). If you let excel run long enough you'll eventually start seeing patterns appear in the numbers. These patterns are similar to the patterns we see in lotto number and yet different all the same. Sorry for rambling on you but if you want some more in depth information I can certainly serve you up a lil something but let me know... Hope this helps, Pogo :-)

          It can't get no better than that...I'm with ya cha all the way

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            Posted: February 13, 2008, 2:29 am - IP Logged

            From what I've read here, BobP's answer sums it up.  It's not so much that people think it's so hard to create a decent  RNG, it's that people are sure there will be some conspiracy to manipulate the RNG. The conspiracy may take any of a few forms. One is that the lottery will manipulate the RNG to select numbers that maximize their profit.  Another is that  the programmer(s) who write the RNG code, and/or the people who guard the computers, and/or the people who execute the drawings will manipulate the RNG for their own gain. The manipulation will apparently be done by the secret and undetectable code that Bob refers to. Apparently when RNG programs are written, there will be no oversight, no documentation, and nobody but the original programmer will ever see the original code. That way the original code can change itself and it will be impossible for anyone to find out that the code did its dirty work and then erased all evidence.

            Back in the real world, there have been a few instance were RNG's have been poorly implemented, but it appears to have been through good old-fashioned human error. Some players  probably would have won if those incidents hadn't hapened, but there are also statistical analyses that sugest that some people noticed problems and adjusted their playing to increase their odds.

              benmas's avatar - waveform
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              Posted: February 13, 2008, 2:57 am - IP Logged

              I personally beleive that people like to SEE the ACTION (meaning balls bouncing around) vs a comp or any other nonvisual method that spits out numbers at random even if that random is true without fraud.

              The KEY is VISUAL methods because our BRAINS absorb it better for whatever psychological reason...

              Einstein once said that it is better to conduct experiments that employ visual methods and he recommended theories with visualizable results....

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
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                Posted: February 13, 2008, 4:11 am - IP Logged


                If authors like Tom Clancy actually do their research, it is possible to piggy back undetectable code on a cd or dvd used to load a computer with a program.  Millions of dollars can be a very real incentive to learn more about programming when given the chance to program a random number generator for a lottery.  BobP

                 

                I Agree!

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                  Posted: February 13, 2008, 5:17 am - IP Logged

                  There's website where you can enter a random sequence of integers and it will try to find an algorithm that will produce a similar set of integers.

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                    Posted: February 14, 2008, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

                    Random computerized drawing.

                    It's only random if I can look at the code to see how the 'randomness' is generated.

                    If it's just a 'random' generator, it's not random.

                    But if it's a 'random generator' that takes into effect/into the algorythym the State, Date and Time down to the millionth of a second you generate the 'random' number, it would be pretty hard to crack.  But that is not counting someone sharp enough to hack their system to run in-place of the legitimate generator.

                    Another thing to realize is we seem to be doing just fine with Ball machines - pretty random there, or else we would have a winner every draw...  JMO 

                      ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
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                      Posted: February 14, 2008, 2:52 pm - IP Logged

                      Random computerized drawing.

                      It's only random if I can look at the code to see how the 'randomness' is generated.

                      If it's just a 'random' generator, it's not random.

                      But if it's a 'random generator' that takes into effect/into the algorythym the State, Date and Time down to the millionth of a second you generate the 'random' number, it would be pretty hard to crack.  But that is not counting someone sharp enough to hack their system to run in-place of the legitimate generator.

                      Another thing to realize is we seem to be doing just fine with Ball machines - pretty random there, or else we would have a winner every draw...  JMO 

                      I Agree!

                      I just don't see a computer being random enough. I just don't trust them. I trust ball drawings. I still play RNG games because in my state they are all computerized except Powerball and I like to play Hot Lotto and Wild Card 2.  

                      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

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                        Posted: February 15, 2008, 12:36 am - IP Logged


                        If authors like Tom Clancy actually do their research, it is possible to piggy back undetectable code on a cd or dvd used to load a computer with a program.  Millions of dollars can be a very real incentive to learn more about programming when given the chance to program a random number generator for a lottery.  BobP

                         

                        But if this is the case, don't you think it would have been done LONG ago ?   We've had a few 200+ million dollar jackpots...

                          BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
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                          Posted: February 15, 2008, 1:15 am - IP Logged

                          But if this is the case, don't you think it would have been done LONG ago ?   We've had a few 200+ million dollar jackpots...


                          If authors like Tom Clancy actually do their research, it is possible to piggy back undetectable code on a cd or dvd used to load a computer with a program.  Millions of dollars can be a very real incentive to learn more about programming when given the chance to program a random number generator for a lottery.  BobP"

                          Ability, opportunity and will must come together in one package.

                          When you do a scheme like this properly no one will ever know you did it. Like setting fire to your business to collect the insurance money. 

                          The proof of the pudding is the Tenn lottery having a way to not draw Pick-3 Doubles.  If the RNG was as pure as we've been lead to believe no such switches could or would be in there and if that's in there, what else might be in there? 

                          Dear lottery player:
                          It really is just another tax and it is for the children after all and the lottery is required to show a profit and it's just for emergencies you must understand.  Now shut up and lose like you're supposed to.
                          Sincerely your government.

                          BobP

                            nanolike's avatar - pink2
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                            Posted: February 15, 2008, 1:47 am - IP Logged

                            Actually, you can't make a random number generator on Excel that is random.  When you generate "random" numbers in Excel, you're actually just spitting out a pre-determined sequence of numbers that starts at whatever seed value you supply.  If you don't supply a seed value, most common RNGs use the computer's internal clock.  If you know the sequence and the seed value, you can accurately predict all the numbers that will come out.

                            Search is in the Forums menu.

                            Todd hello,  good day.

                            What does "the sequence and the seed value" mean? And would you give a small example for the laymen. Thanks Todd.

                            Is it even possible to know the sequence and the seed value? Who would know something like this?

                            Is it possible for me to find out? I dont know anything about excel and have never used excel or any program really. Thanks Todd.

                            It's a NanoLike World!

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                              Posted: February 15, 2008, 1:10 pm - IP Logged

                              Todd hello,  good day.

                              What does "the sequence and the seed value" mean? And would you give a small example for the laymen. Thanks Todd.

                              Is it even possible to know the sequence and the seed value? Who would know something like this?

                              Is it possible for me to find out? I dont know anything about excel and have never used excel or any program really. Thanks Todd.

                              A computer is not capable of coming up with a number out of the blue.  Computers are not creative — they only do what they are told.

                              Therefore, there is no computer which generates a truly random number.  The only true random numbers come from nature — such as frequencies put out by radioactive decay.

                              A computer RNG works as follows:

                              • It starts with a number called a seed.  YOU supply this number to the RNG, normally by passing it a "tick count" of your computer's internal clock.  (Specifically, the tick count is the number of milleseconds that have elapsed since the computer was turned on.)
                              • It keeps track of the number of random numbers that it has generated since the last time you assigned a new seed value.  We'll call this the sequence number.
                              • The RNG performs a series of calculations involving the seed number and the sequence number, such that the end result is a number that falls between 0 and 1.  (For example, 0.7236576453287423)  In laymen's terms, this calculation might be something like the seed number times the sequence number, divided by 762345, plus 65, times -.04723654, divided by.............. and so on.  Whatever the calculation, the result is always between 0 and 1.
                              • The next time you generate a random number, it performs the same calculation, except the sequence number is now 2, so the end result will be a different number between 0 and 1.

                              The series of calculations is more complex than I indicated in my sample above.  It most likely includes constantly-changing information like the tick count in the calculation.  The idea is to make it as unpredictable as possible.  However, if you know the exact calculation, you can feed it exactly the same inputs as the first time it created a random number, including the seed number, the sequence, and anything else used in its calculation, then you will get exactly the same result as the "random number". 

                              In most programming languages, when you use an RNG, the first thing you do is to "randomize" the RNG by assigning a seed value equal to the computer's tick count.  Then you use the RNG however many times is necessary.

                              For example, using Visual Basic, if I'm generating six random numbers (for a 6/49 game), I would do it as follows:

                              Dim numbers(6) As  Integer

                              Randomize()  'In VB, specifying no number will automatically use the system timer (tick count).

                              For x As Integer = 0 To 5
                                  numbers(x) = CInt(Rnd() * 49) + 1
                              Next

                              Explanation: 

                              Dim numbers(6) As  Integer

                                 → This creates storage space to hold the siix random numbers (we have to put them some place after we create them)

                              Randomize()

                                 → This sets a new seed value equal to the computer's tick count, so these six numbers will be "unpredictable"

                              For x As Integer = 0 To 5

                                 → Creates a value called "x", initially assigned a value of zero (0).  The next statement is executed 6 times, and x will be incremented each time, so the second time x will be one (1), then two (2), and so on, up to five (5).

                              numbers(x) = CInt(Rnd() * 49) + 1

                                 → Takes a random number between 0 and 1, multiplies it by 49, then removes the decimal portion (leaving just a whole number), and adds 1 to it.  The result is a random number between 1 and 49.  For example, if Rnd() produced 0.7236576453287423, it would be 0.7236576453287423 x 49 = 35.4592246211083727, then removing the decimal portion would give 35, and finally adding 1 would give a random number of 36.

                              Next

                                 → Marks the end of the code that is executed 6 times.

                              That's my primer in RNGs, I hope it was illuminating!

                               

                              Check the State Lottery Report Card
                              What grade did your lottery earn?

                               

                              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                              Help eliminate computerized drawings!