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Fortuna and the Free Market

“And thus does Fortune’s wheel turn treacherously
And out of happiness bring men to sorrow.”
~ Geoffrey Chaucer

Imagine you and another person are standing around a roulette wheel at a high-end casino. You place $50 on black and the other man places $50 on red. The ball has landed on a black or red number a dozen times, and you are confident it will land on either black or red once again. Both you and the gentleman are hoping to double your money.

Your odds are not 50/50, however. In an American roulette wheel, there is a single zero and a double zero, both green, nestled among the other 36 numbers. The odds of hitting these are slim, and so you both shrug off that probability.

The attendant calls for final bets, and at the last minute, an elderly lady places $5 on zero. The wheel spins. The ball lands on the single green zero, and the elderly lady walks away with $180.

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