Pearson wanted to characterise what he called the ‘laws of chance’. On holiday in 1892, he tossed shilling coins 2400 times (240 groups of ten tosses at a time), recording heads or tails. One of his former pupils tossed a penny coin 8178 times, and also drew 1000 sets of nine lottery tickets from a bag containing 90 tickets, ten of each digit.
Pearson wanted even more data. A popular music hall song ‘The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’ was released that year. Is this where Pearson got the idea to examine 16178 roulette scores from the Monte Carlo casino that had been published in the French newspaper Le Monaco?
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