My fellow SBer Craig McClain sent me a link to yet another an example of how mind-bogglingly innumerate people are. At least, for once it's not Americans.
The British lottery put out a "scratch-off" game called "Cool Cash". The idea of
it is that it's got a target temperature on the card, and to win, you need uncover
only temperatures colder than the target. Simple, right?
Since Britain is on the metric system, they measure temperatures in Celsius. So naturally, some of the temperatures end up being below zero. And that's where the trouble came in. So many
people didn't know that below zero, larger numbers are lower and thus colder, that
the lottery had to withdraw the game!
To quote one of the "victims":
On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.
I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it.
I love that "I'm not having it" line. That's a classic.
What I find particularly surprising is that this isn't just math - it's just a basic, minimal awareness of your surroundings. We're talking
about adults here - people who've clearly lived through plenty of winters, where the temperature
in Great Britain routinely drops below zero degrees celsius. That means that these people don't know that when it's -10, it's colder than when it's -2! To me, this seems to be on about the
same intellectual level as trying to eat wax fruit, because you don't know he difference between
it and real fruit.