Monday, March 05, 2007

Roll Up the Rim to Lose

Tim Hortons has started their annual "roll up the rim to win" contest. I am incredibly bad at this game of chance. Let's take a walk (A CYBER WALK!!1 L0L) down memory lane, and see what I've written about this previously here on

On March 12, 2004, I wrote:
I like having the chance to win stuff, especially big plasma TVs and cars, but I've rrrolled up the rim a few billion times and haven't even won a damn 35 cent cookie. Last year I rrrolled up 31 rims and didn't win anything (yes, I keep the losing rims and count them, because there's something wrong with me). Yet..."odds of winning a prize are 1 in 9". Very iffy.

P.S. In case you're stupid or American, rrroll up the rim is a contest at Tim Hortons where you roll up the rim of coffee cups and win prizes. Duh.

Then 3 weeks later:
So, I still haven't won in rrrrrroll up the rim to win. My girlfriend won a donut and gave it to me, but that doesn't count. Besides, I got a chocolate-mint donut, which tasted like toothpaste smeared on a chocolate donut, and I immediately gained 5 pounds and a double chin after eating it. "Win" my ass.

And 2 weeks after that:
I now have almost 50 losing rims collected, and not one winner among them. The odds of 1 in 9 seem to hold with other people, but not me. Let's do some math! If the chances of losing are 8 in 9 (or 8/9), then the chances of losing 50 times are 8/9 to the power of 50, which is .0027...about 1 in 370. In psychology, you conclude there's something other than chance operating if the odds you got your results by chance are 1 in 20 or less. So, something other than chance is operating on me...the forces of the universe are conspiring against me.

That covers 2003 and 2004, and the next two years weren't much better. I picked up a coffee this morning to kick off 2007, and of course, it was a loser.

All this month, I'll be working on my comprehensive exams for school. This basically means I read articles and books 27 hours per day, which can be a little...uh...hurting to the brain region and detrimentorial to be coherent is. To latch onto something and keep me sane through the month of March , I think I'll keep track of all my winning and losing cups. I'll even graph it and perform statistical analyses, so it's like I'm studying!

Stay tuned to find out if I can prove that either Tim Horton's odds are wrong (but hey, who said hockey players can do math?), or I am truly cursed: doomed to a life of paying full price for food that will kill me.

Roll up the rim count:

  • I WIN: 0
  • I LOSE: 1


limpy99 said...

Just go in and order 9 coffees at once. If you don't win, demand to see a manager.

Jen said...

I've been in the >30 coffees with no wins group too. This year is looking a little bit brighter - 7 coffees = 1 won coffee! Keep hope :)

Phronk said...

Limpy: 9 coffees would only give me a 0.65356 chance of winning at least once, so that wouldn't be enough proof. BEING A MATH GEEK IS FUN.

Jen: Not bad! Hopefully the plasma TV can't be far behind.

Timmy said...

making fun of Americans is fun for you?

Phronk said...

I said stupid OR American, not stupid AND American. I'm not a racist asshole like them Americans.

Unknown said...

I HAVE A SECRET ABOUT TIMMIES COFFEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU WANT TO KNOW EMAIL ME AT'll tell you and you'll joke!!