Fortune cookies – tabulating luck

I have no idea if Fortune cookie statistics were ever tabulated by the authors of Freakonomics but their work suggests anything can be studied more closely and good luck seems worth a closer look.

After a large party there was a giant bag of Fortune cookies left unopened. Over time some of the fortunes were collecting under a fridge magnet and eventually it became a goal to save them for a grand tally (today) and see whether the large number of shoe shopping messages I was getting one day was within normal distribution or not. It did turn out to be the most frequent message – so maybe within the normal distribution for this set of fortunes at least.  I did resist shoe shopping that day and now the desk is practically clean.

A large bag of Fortune cookies produced 66 fortunes once they were all gathered from the messy desk and from under the fridge magnet. The sample of 66 fortunes produced about a twenty percent chance, or one in five, to get the fortune, “Always put your best foot forward” or an eighteen percent chance to get “You will be fortunate in everything you do” or a six percent chance to get “Hand that touches this slip have no more worries.

  1. Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off!     4
  2. You will be fortunate in everything you do.     12
  3. Always put your best foot forward.                13   —–Shop for shoes or shine them?
  4. You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth.     4
  5. This is a prosperous time of life for you.                                     8
  6. Your business will assume vast proportions.                           1
  7. Good news from afar will bring you a welcome visit            1
  8. You will hear pleasant news.                                                          1
  9. You are always welcome in any gathering.                               2
  10. You will be showered with good luck.                                                                 1
  11. A package of value will arrive soon.                                                                      1
  12. Focus on your long-term goal. Success is soon yours!                                  1
  13. An interesting musical opportunity is in your near future.                           1
  14. You are altruistic and will be involved in many humanitarian projects.    5  – my favorite
  15. Hand that touches this slip have no more worries.                            4   – my second favorite
  16. Rome was not built in a day. Be patient.                             1   – or maybe this is my favorite
  17. You may attend a party where strange customs prevail.                        5
  18. Constant change is a way of life for a small business.                            1

Learning/Speaking Chinese:
Happy          kwi lur                    24 

Funny        Hao xiao                  18
Come in please    qing jin!       8
Small         shau                            1
No                 pu                              1
Sit down please   Qing zu        8
Big              da                                 1
I am an American     Wo shi meiguo ren

Last slip’s lucky numbers:  04, 23, 32, 39, 42, 45

Silly but completed projects are a step towards follow through and a cleaner desk.

*** The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food – a book by Jennifer 8 Lee, “In a compelling blend of sociology and history, Jenny Lee exposes the indentured servitude Chinese restaurants expect from illegal immigrant chefs” [Amazon]

*** – a blog with 12 made up fortunes

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational or entertainment purposes within the guidelines of fair use./