Prize bonds: another view

THIS is with reference to the letter `Coincidence in prize bonds: SBP`s version`(Jan 22). The SBP spokesman says that it was a coincidence that two consecutive numbers won the first and second prizes.

However, I would like to point out that in the same draw (no. 45), a third consecutive number (018845) was among the 16,996 numbers which won the third prize of Rs185,000.

While the probability of two consecutive numbers being drawn is at least one in a hundred million, the probability of three consecutive numbers being drawn is more than one in a billion, as any expert in mathematics can prove.
This is a fit case for suo motu action by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, as there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove that this particular draw was manipulated in favour of those who owned the bonds bearing the three consecutive numbers.
It is entirely possible that only one person held the maximum number (eight each) of these bonds (numbering 018845, 018846 & 018847), as a result of which he or she is richer by over Rs320 million.

Published in DAWN, 24 January 2011