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Bet Your Friends to Be More Right

A while back I had a friend named Andrew. The tie that bound us was our love for gambling, not as a thrill-seeking diversion, but as a practical application of statistics. We made money gambling together, exploiting any edge we could find, but we also gambled between the two of us.

I forget how it started, but eventually we got to the point where no assertion could be made without stakes being attached to it. Any sentence beginning with "I bet you anything..." was taken literally and was likely to result in a wager of some sort.

For example, if we were talking about going to a restaurant, and I said that it was probably closed, and he thought that it was open, he might ask me what odds I'd give him that it was open. If I was really sure, because I'd been there at that time the day before, I might offer him 3:1. If I was barely sure at all, I might offer him 1:1. Confidence in estimations determined the amount bet.

The interesting thing about this practice was that it made us both think very carefully about the accuracy of all of our statements. The most embarrassing thing ever was to say, "I bet you anything that I'll be on time..." and then be unwilling to back up the assertion with a bet. Failing to bet was an admission that you'd just said something that you had no real confidence in.

Was it Lo'la Love?

On A-LISTED

Guest Blog by Michelle Clarke

Valentine's Day is a day to show your partner how much you love them, and this year was a special one for me and my husband as it was the 10th anniversary of our very first date.

I was 19 at the time, he was 23 and we had been working together at a large law firm in Manchester for 8 months before he plucked up the courage to ask me out on a date.

Thinking about it now, I still can't believe that was way back in 2004! This year, to celebrate 10 years together, we wanted to do something special but couldn't decide what to do, and then I spotted a competition running on the @A_Listed Twitter page to win a Valentine's night out at Lola Lo in Manchester.

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