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Proof was in the jars

Abolishing the cent and rounding all cash transactions to the nearest nickel concerns some people.

They do not believe probability, which indicates if you round down all transactions that end with one or two cents and round up all transactions that have a total ending in three or four cents that over time you break even.

This reminds me of a couple I know who are avid Cribbage players. Both are very good. I know, I have played with them. I definitely would not play either of them for money.

But the husband seems to win more often, though my impression is not sufficient grounds to make that judgment. What I can say is he clearly enjoys the game and that is always evident.

His wife was a quieter player.

At some point, as the wife related the story to me that they decided to test their assumption that the husband won more often.

If he won, a dollar was put in his jar. If she won, a dollar was put in her jar. After a period of time, which my foggy memory does not recall, they counted the money in each jar.

What was the result?

It was a virtual tie, according to the wife.

That was certainly not the impression you might gain from watching the two of them play, but that turned out to be the reality of the situation.

The same is true with rounding. It might not seem that rounding is a break-even proposition, but it is.