Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A man committed suicide because he mistakenly believed his lotto numbers had come up the one week he didn't play them.
Origins: In April 1995 Timothy O'Brien committed suicide by shooting himself in the head because his half-share of a five-week ticket on Britain's (then) new National Lottery had expired just before the draw he thought would have made him a multi-millionaire.
The truth is, even if he'd held a valid ticket for his usual numbers, O'Brien wouldn't have won. The numbers that came up would have entitled the ticketholders to a prize of
Barbara "innumeracy kills" Mikkelson
Last updated: 10 August 2007
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