The coin toss: not 50-50 after all

Using a high-speed camera that photographed people flipping coins, the three researchers determined that a coin is more likely to land facing the same side on which it started. If tails is facing up when the coin is perched on your thumb, it is more likely to land tails up.

How much more likely? At least 51 percent of the time, the researchers claim, and possibly as much as 55 percent to 60 percent — depending on the flipping motion of the individual.

In other words, more than random luck is at work.

Reporting by Mercury News. Hat tip (second in a row!) to Meaningfulness.

Paper is here.

Randomistas: I’m told that Microsoft Excel’s random number function is also… not random. Anyone have hard information on this?