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Scratch card pulled because we suck at maths

Well, not me in particular, just a sizable chunk of the unwashed masses in this country. This from the Manchester Evening News (emphasis mine):

A LOTTERY scratchcard has been withdrawn from sale by Camelot – because players couldn’t understand it.

The Cool Cash game – launched on Monday – was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.

To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.

But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6.

Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme, called Camelot after failing to win with several cards.

The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: “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 think Camelot are giving people the wrong impression – the card doesn’t say to look for a colder or warmer temperature, it says to look for a higher or lower number. Six is a lower number than 8. Imagine how many people have been misled.”  

Someone at work mentioned this earlier in week (on The Register) and then it popped up in this weeks b3ta newsletter. First thoughts were surely it’s a joke, but no…

I wonder if they have the same problem with their overdraft? They see -£250.43 as having that much to spend instead of owing?

What in the world, or more accurately, is this country coming to? It’s no wonder one of my best mates decided to sell up and emigrate to Australia earlier in the week!

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