My brother-in-law came across a news story from November in the Manchester Evening News demonstrating just how poor math skills are in this country. The story is just too good not to post in full, though I’ve highlighted a few things in bold:
A LOTTERY scratchcard has been withdrawn from sale by Camelot – because players couldn’t understand it.
The Cool Cash game – launched on Monday – was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.
To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.
But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6.
Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme, called Camelot after failing to win with several cards.
The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: “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, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn’t.
“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.