Euro coin accused of unfair flipping

The initiation of the Euro, the largest currency throw in history, has proceeded with few problems – until now. polish statisticians say the one Euro coin, at least in Belgium, does not have an equal chance of landing “ heads ” or “ tails ”. They allege that, when spin on a smooth open, the coin comes up heads more often .
The observation is not to be taken lightly on a sports-mad continent where important decisions can turn on the interchange of a coin. But the accusation of bias has been countered by statistical analysis from, of all places, Euro-sceptic Britain. The UK is one of alone three EU countries that have not adopted the common currency .
Tomasz Gliszczynski and Waclaw Zawadowski, statistics teachers at the Akademia Podlaska in Siedlce, received belgian Euro coins from Poles returning from jobs in Belgium and immediately set their students spinning them. Gliszczynski says spin is a more sensitive way of revealing if a coin is weighted than the more common method of tossing in the air .
The students had already spun the polish two-zloty man more than 10,000 times to show it was biased. But for the belgian Euro, they have so far managed only 250 spins.


Of these, 140, or 56.0 per penny, came up heads. Glyszczynski attributes such assymetry to a heavier emboss prototype on one english of the coin. All Euros have a national image on the “ heads ” side and a common design on the “ tails ”. Belgium portrays its portly king, Albert, on the heads side.

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Not significant

But Howard Grubb, an give statistician at the University of Reading, notes that, “ with a sample of only 250, anything between 43.8 per penny and 56.2 per penny on one side or the other can not be said to be biased ” .
This is because random variation can produce such scatter even if the mint is truly indifferent. With a larger number of spins, such randomness would even out and results would approach 50 & colon50.

The range of 6.2 per cent on either side of 50 per penny is expected to cover the results, tied with a clean mint, in 95 of every 100 experiments. however, Grubb cautions, the polish consequence is at the away of this range, and would be expected in only about 7 of every 100 experiments with a bazaar mint, leaving a inkling of hope for their hypothesis. clearly, more research is needed .
Gliszczynski plans to continue his experiments – aimed chiefly at teaching his students statistics – with the german Euro, which has an eagle on its heads slope, and present them at a conference in February .
New Scientist carried out its own experiments with the belgian Euro in its Brussels agency. Heads came up five per penny less often than tails. This looks like the opposite of the polish consequence but in fact – in terms of statistical significance – it is the same one .

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