The dan­ger­ous cult of busi­ness celebrity

Finweek English Edition - - NEWS -

Afew years ago, I was watch­ing a US tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter in­ter­view the ec­static win­ner of the lo­cal lot­tery. “How did you do it?” she asked. “Well, it ’s all in the num­bers,” he ex­plained thought­fully. “First I chose the birth­dates of my kids – 9, 14, and 27. Then I chose my age – 34. Then my golf hand­i­cap – 10. And f in­ally my lucky num­ber is 5. And the fi­nal win­ning num­ber I chose was 24, be­cause 5 is my lucky num­ber, and 5 times 5 is 24.”

Wow, I thought, who would have be­lieved that a f lawed ed­u­ca­tion could pay off so spec­tac­u­larly? Of course, most lot­tery win­ners – and gam­blers in gen­eral – have a ‘sys­tem’ they use to ex­plain their amaz­ing win. They might also as­so­ciate their win with an item of cloth­ing (“I was wear­ing my lucky sock,”) or a cer­tain rit­ual (“I al­ways or­der a gin and tonic from that blonde wait­ress be­fore I play,”) or a cer­tain ob­ject (“That’s my

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