When I was at university we had a statistics text book. Someone involved in the process of producing that book had decided that it needed livening up with cartoons and quotations. For me, they were the most memorable bit of the book. One of the quotes was:
He uses statistics as a drunk uses a lamp post – more for support than illumination.
I suspect the same can be said of these statistics about Booker prize winners. The different perspectives in the comments are also worth reading. The idea that the trend is changing over time is encouraging.
On the whole, I suspect that the only sensible conclusion you can draw is that a sample of one per year is too small to use as a basis for logical analysis.
But I’m tempted to try the idea of betting against the favourite!
If you prefer your statistics in pictures, try this post.
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