Public: Math Education
Become Astoundingly Rich   (+24, -8)  [vote for, against]
Only spend tails, make money on the heads.

Take all of your coins and flip them. Flip them at every opportunity. Spend (or give away) the ones that come up tails, save the ones that come up heads. Continue doing this for a few years, you will weed out all the unlucky coins, having one or two that despite numerous trials, have always come through as being head-centric.

After a decade of binary Darwinian selection, you should have sifted yourself a coin which, after multiple trials, always comes up heads. At this point, tour the country taking bets with people on the flip of a coin.
You can't lose.
-- zen_tom, May 22 2007

The end result: http://www.makmagic...ct.asp?prodid=P2440
[ldischler, May 22 2007]

Heads: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Jews [pashute, Aug 25 2011]

Learn how to always win a coin flipping bet, at the uncorruptuble institution [pashute, Aug 25 2011]

Shame it won't work.
-- DrCurry, May 22 2007

By the time that process has been achieved, chocolate biscuits will be the standard currency.
-- skinflaps, May 22 2007

In order to speed up the process, I could try the commercial route, a coin flipping robot could be situated in the middle of a factory, flipping coin after coin, rejecting the ones that come up tails, to be spent as petty cash.

Meanwhile, the ones that come up heads can be sold to people as lucky coins at a percentage markup dependant on how many consecutive heads came up in a row. Starting with a coinage unit of say 10p, one that came up heads 3 times in a row might be worth 13p, while one that came up heads 100 times in a row might be 'worth' £50. That's "adding value".

People would be able to buy these pre-tested coins over the internet. Everyone wins.
-- zen_tom, May 22 2007

Actually, I've had second thoughts about the reject coins. These too could be filtered through a second robot, one that tests for coins that come up tails over multiple flips. Like the heads coins, these could be sold at a price proportionate to the number of consecutive times a given coin came up with one particular face.

Indeterminate coins (i.e. those that can't make up their minds) would be sent back into the wild.
-- zen_tom, May 22 2007

[tom], you've just doubled your money!
-- theleopard, May 22 2007

It's fantastic -- and I am volunteering myself as the guy that you send all your 'unlucky tails' to ... COME ON EVERYONE -- send me the tails!

(lol I'm gonna get rich!)
-- britboy, May 22 2007

Excellent.

The coin-flipping contraption should sit in a dusty, wooden-floored warehouse, in the dead centre of the building, in a circular clearing, the many wrought iron pillars that hold the roof giving way as if in deference to the massive, dark device they surround. Yes, the robot is styled after the fashion of a Victorian cotton loom: smoky black ironwork and greased, shining brass flashing in and out of view at the joins of the mechanical limbs, themselves modelled on an artisan engineer's approximation of a human arm, which are positioned around the central drive shaft pillar, splaying out like points of an elaborate compass. And at the end of each arm a riveted hand, the whole contraption in motion looking like the work of some pupil of Jaquet-Droz, latterly driven to functionalism by the implacable Forces of Capitalism.

And from each mechanical hand, the coins are flipped, a harsh, tiny click and up, spinning through the metallic air, eight at a time go the coins, to land with a soft tapping on the dusty flooring, from whence they are collected, examined and sorted by however many young, soot-faced workhouse lads you feel is most cost effective.
-- calum, May 22 2007

I'll take all of the coins that can't make up their minds. Send to p.o. box ...
-- RayfordSteele, May 22 2007

Sadley the world is not completeley superstitious.
-- lurgic2, May 22 2007

[zen_tom] It takes deep immersion in a complex subject (such as statistics) to misunderstand it in a profound way.

Sadly, you have demonstrated only that you misunderstand it in a shallow way. There is evidently no royal road to ignorance.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2007

This isn't a demonstration (of ignorance), it's a method for becoming astoundingly rich!

Or maybe I'm purposefully demonstrating a shallow (mis)understanding in order for others to profoundly (mis)understand the underlying issues. You've got to start somewhere.

[calum] the lonely robot(s) set squarely in the centre of an echoing warehouse is exactly what I had in mind. The grimy cap doffing chimneysweepesque scamps, I'd not figured on, but I think they'd have to be a part of the overall scheme.
-- zen_tom, May 22 2007

Gr: "to misunderstand profoundly" (or "profoundly to misunderstand", if you must).
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2007

[Maxwell] fair enough, you got me. I know it's no excuse (and potentially a federal crime in some states) but I have to confess, I'm currently baking under the influence (BUI). Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.
-- zen_tom, May 22 2007

I'm proofreading under the influence, so we'll call it knock for knock. Cheers.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 22 2007

Excellent stuff [+], both the silly initial idea, and the idea of selling the 'lucky' coins to superstitious people.

It reminds me of the scam where you start off by spamming, say, 3.2 million people, telling them you'll prove to them that you can predict the stock market. To half you say the FTSE will go up the next day, to the other half you say it'll go down.

Assume the FTSE goes up. Then you email just the 1.6 million people for whom you predicted correctly, telling half of them the FTSE will go up again the next day, and telling the other half it'll go down.

After a few more repeats, you've got 100,000 people left for whom you predicted the market correctly five times out of five - to them, your predictions look pretty impressively accurate. That's when you ask them to sign up for your 'Beat the Market' secret report, a bargain at only a hundred quid.

Sadly, people are less likely to pay you much for a coin that's landed heads only five times out of five.

To end up with one coin that's landed heads 100 times out of 100, chances are you'll need to start with around one thousand billion billion billion coins. You might want to sell it for a bit more than £50. :-)
-- imaginality, May 22 2007

Do the lucky coins come with a money-back guarantee?
-- nuclear hobo, May 23 2007

Lateral thinking required here: whom are you trying to astound?
-- pertinax, May 23 2007

I will gladly take off your hands all coins which land on edge, three time out of the first ten flips at tripple their monetary value.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 23 2007

//Indeterminate coins (i.e. those that can't make up their minds) would be sent back into the wild.//

No, no, no. They should be sold at a massive premium to Sports Administrators, who could issue them for use during the toss up at the start of most sporting events. Each coin would come with a certificate to testify that it had been exhaustively tested and was certified as truly random.
-- DrBob, May 23 2007

//box of pre-tested safety matches I purchased last year, (not one of them worked!)// - surely they worked perfectly. There's nothing safer than a pre-tested match.
-- lostdog, May 23 2007

sell //Indeterminate coins //

Money just trippled [tom]!

What you need to do is find a use for the coins that weren't exactly indeterminate, nor that were coming up one way or the other, but for those coins that were just slightly biased towards one side of the coin or t'other, then you could be looking at a 100% profit yield...

Come on!
-- theleopard, May 23 2007

Why not just make a trick coin that's bottom heavy? even tossing will take up too much time. just dump them in a hopper and have the coins sorted through a shute. I also understand the want to be rich, but you may not be happier. I heard that people can be happy with just \$50,000.
-- the great unknown, May 23 2007

Is that US or Canadian? Income, or lump sum? We here in the UK have to stick to £, which might account for why we're so miserable all the time.

Despite that, I imagine you can still be happy on a lot less than \$50,000 - I've had some really good nights having spent no more than £20. And I'm sure it's possible to beat even that. Some people (so I have come to understand) believe that the "apparent" correlation between money and happiness is just an illusion! Crazy fools.
-- zen_tom, May 23 2007

I'm happiest when there's a free bar, me.
-- theleopard, May 23 2007

//I heard that people can be happy with just \$50,000.// Only when you have substantially less than that. Once you have \$50 grand, it takes \$100,000 to be happy. But then ...
-- nuclear hobo, May 23 2007

// It reminds me of the scam where you start off by spamming, say, 3.2 million people //

This is the basis of several scams actually. Just about anything where tips are given; for example, horse races. You sell tips to punters but tell each punter a different horse, so that 1 in N of them is guaranteed to win, then you rely on their gratitude to give you something from their winnings. Another related scam is lottery numbers in fortune cookies. How many people have won millions in a lottery from numbers in a cookie, then given a fine tip to the restaurant out of gratitude or guilt... that's why fortune cookie lottery numbers are always different in each cookie. If they really were fortune tellers, every cookie would be the same!
-- gtoal, May 23 2007

Heh. There was a fellow in the States selling copper engravings of Lincoln for a few bucks each. When he got the money he'd send that person a penny.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 23 2007

And for a minute there when I read the byline, I thought you had a reasonable "let's all " idea about using random distribution to determine which half of your spare change you invested...

Is there an MFD for silliness? No? Ah, thank goodness.

In all actuality though, wouldn't there actually BE a few coins that, due to weight, edge wear, etc. do tend to land on one side more often?
-- ye_river_xiv, May 24 2007

One side: Toast (Buttered) Other side: Cat (Feet Down)

It will always land on its side; or continue spinning, a few inches above the ground.
-- Alx_xlA, Jan 26 2009

What happens (apart from [8th] coming around to congratulate you) if you glue two cats back-to-back and drop them?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 25 2011

I just tried the scamschool trick (see links) on my two younger daughters. One of them was flipping the coin. After a while she started getting 'heads' about 50 times. It fell on the floor... heads. It rolled under the couch... heads. She said "The coin is rigged" and walked off. :- )
-- pashute, Aug 25 2011

[+]... It would work!
-- AntiQuark, Aug 25 2011

[Alx_xlA]'s is not the only possible outcome. For example, your grandchild might travel back in time and shoot you before you can conduct the experiment.
-- mouseposture, Aug 25 2011

One day communism finally came. Grisha, the father, was walking with his son Alex when they saw a coin on the street. The kid kicked it aside.

Why did you kick it? asked the father.

Why, what is it? asked the son.
It is money! Said Grisha.