# Camelot pulls scratchcard amid numerical anarchy

Camelot has withdrawn its short-lived "Cool Cash" scratchcard after it required a higher than absolute zero grasp of how numbers work to understand it. According to the Manchester Evening News, to qualify for a prize, punters had to "scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card". …

#### I'm with Camelot on this one

Of course, why should a complete ignorance of basic maths impede one's ability to win on a numerical scratchcard?

#### Yay math

"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."

Goodness this girl is thick, maybe someone should have explained it in math she would understand.

If you borrow £6 off your mum till your giro arrives, and your sister borrows £8 to feed their 15 sprogs till their giro arrives, who owes the most to your mum?

Bloomin chavs these days.

Wonder if Paris Hilton can do math?

#### So proud of my home town

I may be getting confused with the confusion. Camelot say you have to find a lower number than say -8. And the woman thinks that -6 is a lower number, even a lower temperature. Is she thick? -10 surely would be the lower number. Surely Camelot should have told her to stuff it.

#### Ban them all

OMG!!!!

People who do not have a basic grasp of mathematics should not be allowed money of there own, and they certainly shouldn't be allowed to purchase anything that requires them spending it and, shock, horror, incur the possibility of having to subtract £1 from the £5 they have used to purchase said scratch card.

I really fear for our future....

#### Presumably...

... anyone with a basic grasp of maths is not going to throw his money away on a scratchcard in the first place...

#### Getting ready for the Darwin awards!

-6 is higher then -8?

She wouldn't be related to Jade Goody then?

#### flabergasted

I am quite frankly shocked that someone would get confused over this, maybe we could use it as a marker for compulsory sterilisation?

#### Wouldn't it be better...

...for the sake of 'the good causes' to educate those 'dozens' about the basic English number system, rather than withdraw the card?

I'd be interested to know how many numerically capable people bought the scratch card for the sake of context.

#### *Shakes head in disbelief*

"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...- the card doesn't say to look for a colder or warmer temperature, it says to look for a higher or lower number."

"The Manchester Evening News concludes: "More than 15 million adults in Britain have poor numeracy - the equivalent of a G or below at GCSE maths." "

Judging by Tina-the-Muppet, literacy skills aren't looking too hot either. That said, WTPHA? WTITA?

#### Whatever is the world coming to?

Tina Farrel said, "On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7", and later, "the card doesn't say to look for a colder or warmer temperature"

So, which is it Tima? Did it say you had to find lower temperatures, or did it not? You contradict yourself.

She also said, "it says to look for a higher or lower number. Six is a lower number than 8. Imagine how many people have been misled."

But, the numbers were -8 and -6, not 8 and 6, -6 is definitely a higher number than -8, so even on the "numbers not temperatures" idea, you're wrong.

Camelot are in the right here - it's our schools who should be ashamed of themselves.

#### Uninformed comment follows:

OK, so I've not seen one of these scratch cards but, going by what the young lady interviewed said, she has a point. If the card says to look for a lower number, then 6 is lower than 8.

There are even situations where people who "do have GCSE" mathematics may consider numbers absolute -- for instance, surely a line at -110V is at a higher voltage (albeit negative) than one at -10V? Then again, I've forgotten most of my education, so that may not be the case.

Now I'm confused.

#### ha ha ha!

This made me laugh out loud.

"6 is lower than 8"

Yes it is, but these numbers are -6 and -8. There is a big difference.

They are also, supposedly, temperatures. Perhaps she might have a case if they haven't specified which temperature scale each number uses.

#### Bet credit card companies are so happy.....

What dumb asses.

So this explains the UK massive debt.

Imagine this dozy cow.

Wahoo, my balance in my bank is £-10,000, I doing so well, last month I only had £-8,000. I'm of to buy some shoes with the extra money I have....

#### I'm feeling generous

Since she feels swindled by Camelot, I'd be quite happy to offer her the choice of a -£5,000 or -£10,000 prize to compensate for her loss.

#### You have to be F*** kidding me!

This is ludicrous!

Number 1: If your maths isn't that good and you got embarrassed in the shop by being proved wrong - keep it quiet! Don't go to the press and get your name splashed about as its obviously you are completely thick

Number 2: Leave this card in play i say! This will show up the idiots who should be sent back to school!

#### A side-peave

A pet peave: it's not the "lowest common denominator". When people say that, they almost always mean "the lowest value", unless they are in a maths class at the time.

#### @cameron

"surely a line at -110V is at a higher voltage (albeit negative) than one at -10V?"

No. In order to be + or - there must be a reference of zero, and relative to that reference -110V is a lower voltage than -10V.

Whether either of them is a *more dangerous* voltage depends entirely on where you are. If you're sitting on a metal plate at -110V then touching a wire at -110V won't be a problem, but touching one at -10V (or +10V for that matter) would be most unpleasant, to say the least. High doesn't inherently mean dangerous, it just means, well, high. When I stepped out of bed this morning I realized that I was 900m up above sea level.

Fortunately so is my house.

#### Uninformed is right

"OK, so I've not seen one of these scratch cards but, going by what the young lady interviewed said, she has a point. If the card says to look for a lower number, then 6 is lower than 8."

Umm... The whole point of the story is that the numbers 6 and 8 are completely and utterly irrelevant.

The only point she has is the one she scored in an IQ test (miaow).

#### Numeracy?

@anonymous coward: "money of there own" is one hell of a mistake to make when complaining about other people being stoopid!

@Cameron Colley: The numbers in question are "-8" and "-6", not "8" and "6". If I were to ask you which was higher of "92" and "87" would you say '7' since it's higher than '2'???? With respect to the voltage question - when people are asked about the "highest voltage", that's often interpretted as "furthest from ground" (not saying this is right, just that it's how it is read). If you were to ask which was the higher potential you'd get the correct mathematical number.

It's really depressing that this is something people get wrong, and it's more of a comment on the skills that people are taking into the world as adults than anything else.

Camelot (for once) have my sympathy.

#### @Cameron Colley

Uninformed indeed, you have completely missed the better part of the discussion here. 6 is lower than 8, correct. -6 (negative six) is higher than -8 (negative eight) though!

On your second point, I am hardly qualified to comment but I was under the impression that a voltage must be relative. i.e. a Voltage is a measurement of difference. In your example you would be correct in saying that -110V is a higher voltage than -10V provided that the opposite terminal is 0V (or any other voltage higher than -10V). Giving a Difference or Voltage of 110V and 10V respectively. So you're correct here, although I'm not sure you're aware of it. If the opposite terminals were +100V and 0V respectively then they would both measure the same Voltage of -10V overall.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, someone.

#### No surprise

Look, imagine an old-fasioned thermometer ... No, on second thoughts, it would be like trying to explain glacial erosion to a desert tribesman.

I work at a secondary school, and one of our new entrants was unable, even with the aid of a real world example of buying sweets and plastic coins, unable to subtract 3 from 5.

#### OMFG!

OK, I know that I am pretty good at maths, and so I dont always realise how difficult some people find maths but SURELY people learn about negative numbers in primary school? I'm sure we did, and I'm only 26, so things cant have changed THAT much.

If you don't know basic maths, I agree with the above comment, you should not be allowed money. Simple as. And the girl behind the counter didnt even know?! Shes dealing with money every day!!!

This country is down the shitter. There are so many thickos who cant read, write or add up. We need to do something and SOON, or we as a country will not survive.

#### Negative Feedback

@Cameron Colley: You're right that 6 is a lower number than 8, but those aren't the numbers that are causing the problems. Those numbers are -6 and -8, and -8 /is/ lower than -6 ... the minus signs aren't just punctuation to make it look tidier, they're part of the numbers themselves, and make them distinct from 6 and 8!

As far as voltages go, if you're dealing with DC and wanted to know if a wire was safe you might just call -110 a figuratively "high" voltage - in that case you'd be using shorthand for "high magnitude". If you were comparing one voltage to another for any functional purpose you'd definitely take sign into account when deciding if one was higher than another. If you're working with AC, which is far more likely to be the case for high voltages, you'll be comparing peak or RMS values which are always positive in any event.

#### I live in Levenshulme

... and it really is like that!

I'm not from there though, I'm from the edjumakashionally soopeerya area of Wigan.

"The Manchester Evening News concludes: "More than 15 million adults in Britain have poor numeracy - the equivalent of a G or below at GCSE maths." "

so, is that an F or an H?

#### so...

...what goes through these people's minds when they watch the weather forecast in winter? That Scotand or Russia is hotter than the UK?

"I'm off to Scotland tomorrow, mum."

"Ooo don't forget to take a T-shirt - they're up to -10 up there."

#### ... well well

@cameron i'd go for the "absolute voltage" line... couldn't find that in the article, though... but i see your point. bar all negative numbers. these ppl should just use Kelvin like... erm.. noone else in the world.

#### @AC

English number system?

Don't you mean Arabic (or Indian, Hindu etc.). Definately not English though.

#### Phenomenal...

Reminds me of the "Stupid People" sketch from JAM.

People like this make my skin crawl.

#### FFS!!!!!

Will someone please these spongers from spending the money I keep giving them through my hard-earnt taxes on a device that is designed to make Camelot as much money as possible whilst luring the idiotic into a false sense of hope that they might actually be able to improve themselves if they have money.

If a number is positive, then it is greater than a negative number, therefore:

3 > 2 > 1 > 0 > -1 > -2 > -3 etc...

And for those of you who failed primary school maths, the little arrow means that thenumber on the left is greater (has a higher value) than the number on right. Please also realise that a number is never "minus one" as this means "subtract one from the previous number" - it is always "negative one".

If your IQ matches the temperatures revealed on this scratch card, kindly do the rest of humanity a favour and either improve your brain or remove yourself from the gene-pool. There's never a lifeguard around when you need one...

#### @Cameron

"going by what the young lady interviewed said, she has a point. If the card says to look for a lower number, then 6 is lower than 8."

well done 6 is lower then 8, *clap clap*

but the card never states the numbers 6 or 8

it states -6 and -8, totally different numbers

god i feel like an infant school teacher

#### Cameron

6 is lower than 8 yes, but -6 is not the same as 6.

A higher negative value, that would be a lower value then if we resolve the double negatives.

Get with the program and take the p*ss out of Tina.

#### You sure?

@ Cameron Colley.....

Lol, you do realise that you suggesting that -110 V is higher than -10 V "albeit negative" is the kind of logic that gets kids failing their GCSEs. No, -10V, is, and always will be, higher than -110V. Volts are a relative unit, just like temperature in degrees, and so you can adjust the reference as you like, so comparing -110V and -10V is EXACTLY the same as comparing 0V and 120V, the latter is the higher in both cases.

So, perhaps in Tina's defence, possibly techies too have issues with basic maths..........

#### Brucy Bonus

You can hear it now on Play Your Scratchcards Right:

Higher than a -8, you say? Oooooh, a -10.

#### GCSE Grade G?!!

Has GCSE grading changed since I left in 1993???

F was the lowest grade you could get (yes F IS lower than an A even though it's further along in the alphabet! :p ) ... if you did any worse you got a U (unclassifed) so hence F was the lowest grade you could get. Have I missed something?

#### And there's a question on why people have terrible debts...

It's obvious isn't it, if you are £8 in debt it's less than £6 in debt. It's just odd that the more money you take out of the bank and the more you put on your CC the less you owe. Great economy we have, amazing.

#### Mutually exclusive?

hahah!! Camelot deserve everything they get - who do they think their average market is? Lets face it, the average IQ of punters heamoraging their pound coins for these worthless peices of paper isnt going to much higher than -6!!

#### @ I really fear for our future

"People who do not have a basic grasp of mathematics should not be allowed money of there own"

Also, those without a basic grasp of grammar should not be allowed keyboards of their own.

#### Government stupidity tax is working then!

It's lucky she doesn't live in Canada or some other such country where temperatures reach the minus thirties during winter.

#### @Anonymous Coward

Steady there, or people will be commenting on the lack of gramatical training in this country too.

#### Pot, kettle, darker shade of pale

And people who do not have a basic grasp of English should not be allowed to leave there (sic) comments.

#### Seriously...

...is this so hard to comprehend?

I'm maybe exceptionally capable at mathematics - I have an 'O' level, after all - but it doesn't seem like that anybody could think that -8 is "higher" than -6. I learned this stuff in primary school.

I guess it *is* higher in terms of magnitude though, so I'd hope that Camelot did actually word the card appropriately that they suddenly have to pay out to all of those people who *shouldn't* have won...

Just my two penn'orth...