Roy Meadow

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In  a national lottery, the sequence 1-2-3-4-5-6 is as likely to tumble from the machine as any other combination, yet picking this combination intuitively feels less likely than a wider spread of numbers.  Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP Creative/Getty

Statistics are ubiquitous, used to convey information about everything from money markets to medicine. With their clear scales and round numbers, they(...)