“N.Y. Lottery Numbers Come Up 9-1-1 on 9/11” was the headline of an article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle (September 13, 2002). More than 5600 people had selected the sequence 9-1-1 on that date, many more than is typical for that sequence. A professor at the University of Buffalo is quoted as saying, “I’m a bit surprised, but I wouldn’t characterize it as bizarre. It’s randomness. Every number has the same chance of coming up. People tend to read into these things. I’m sure that whatever numbers come up tonight, they will have some special meaning to someone, somewhere.” The New York state lottery uses balls numbered 0– 9 circulating in three separate bins. To select the winning sequence, one ball is chosen at random from each bin. What is the probability that the sequence 9-1-1 would be the one selected on any particular day?
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