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A Bag of Money (49p)


Take 49 pennies and stick labels on them with the numbers 1 to 49. It's a bit laborious, but if you win will you grumble?

Now, put the cash in a bag and shake it about a bit. Then tip it all out on the carpet. Some of the coins will land with their numbers up, to coin a phrase. For the others, it's "thumbs down", and they are eliminated in the first round. The lucky numbers now go back in the bag.

Now shake the bag for the second round. When you tip them out on the carpet, there'll probably be about a dozen or so which are lucky. Only these go back in the bag for the third round.

On the third round the chances are that there'll be about six lucky numbers. If there are exactly six, it looks like it's your lucky week. If there are less, repeat the third round.

If there are more than six lucky numbers on the third round, give a few of the unlucky ones another chance on the fourth round.

The game continues until there are exactly six lucky numbers remaining. These go on the ticket.

Helpful hint: Don't try to get six lucky numbers from a bag of 7 or 8, you'll be throwing money around all day! It's best to keep at least 10, or preferably a dozen in the bag for each round.

Star quality: Making it a game with money to get the numbers to enter another game with money.

Variations: Use pound coins. It won't make any logical difference, but it might make you feel richer or luckier or something.

Comments: Experiment shows that it is easier to use old-fashioned pennies than decimal currency. Besides the fact that they are better theatrically, it's also less fiddly trying to cut up jam labels to stick on such larger coinage.

The write-up was originally designed around British money, but is equally applicable to a variety of forms of currency around the world. It's probably illegal to use British money to do this, there being some ancient law against it, something like "causing the Coin of the Realm to be used in any Game". However, if you get arrested and put in the Tower of London for some ancient offence, you may take heart during your incarceration of the fact that you may make a lot of money when you are released by the publicity of exposing the daftness of the law.

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