Lecturer recreates hoopla game for trading standards
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Dr David Lucy from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics has played a crucial role in an investigation into the operation of a hoopla stall in Blackpool. Trading standards officers were called in after members of the public complained about the stall on the Golden Mile, where customers attempted to land hoops over pegs in order to win a stuffed toy or bottle of champagne.
Trading standards officers secretly filmed two girls carrying out a test purchase at the stall where they paid for five attempts at the game. Items from the stall were later seized and passed to Dr Lucy, who often helps evaluate forensic evidence for the police. He recreated the game in laboratory conditions with the help of students and staff from his department.
Dr Lucy said: "What we found is that you could place many of the hoops over the pegs, but the pegs were cut at an angle such that all low angle trajectories were precluded from succeeding. An attempt made employing a high trajectory would require the hoop to be thrown over a parabola which would be on the whole 1.4 meters high, and with an accuracy of half a millimetre. We made nearly 600 throws and observed no successes, and from this calculated that in excess of 2,600 attempts would have to be made to stand a high probability of observing a single successful throw."
His experiment led to a successful prosecution by Blackpool Council of two men who admitted breaching gambling laws.
Fri 28 May 2010
EDF Energy, one of the UK’s largest electricity producers, is offering placements at its Heysham 2 nuclear power plant to students studying engineering, IT, environmental science or chemistry.
Thu 07 May 2015
A ground-breaking Masters programme from Lancaster University is giving students the opportunity to work on high-impact business projects that develop collaboration between UK and Chinese SMEs.
Wed 29 April 2015
The new Engineering Building has won recognition in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Awards.
Tue 28 April 2015
The Faculty has upheld its strong reputation as a destination for students wishing to pursue studies in science and technology in the latest league tables published by The Complete University Guide for 2016.
Tue 28 April 2015