By Randall Fitzgerald
SOURCE: Phenomena Magazine
Inside every casino slot machine manufactured today is a computer chip called a random number generator, sometimes referred to as the heart and soul of the 'one-armed bandit' because it determines the outcome of every bet and play. (Rng's generate number combinations reflected on symbols that appear on the payline of a reel to indicate whether you have won or lost.)
What most people in the gambling industry don't know is how the random number generator (Rng) was invented and used four decades ago in parapsychological experiments testing the ability of the human mind to intuit, or influence, streams of number data.
Helmut Schmidt created the first Rng in 1969 for a mind-over-matter experiment while he was a physicist for the Boeing Company Laboratory. His test subjects concentrated on affecting the movement of a circle of lights that corresponded to the Rng's counter being set in either a 1 or 2 position.
By odds of 10,000 to 1 beyond chance expectation, Schmidt's test subjects affected the number sequence governing movement of the lights.
Within a decade other parapsychological researchers had employed Rng's in even more extensive and sophisticated experiments. At Princeton University test subjects were asked to coax Rng's to produce either larger-than-average or smaller-than-average sequences of numbers. The most effective subjects felt a resonance with the computer that involved a loss of awareness of themselves and their surroundings, a state similar to deep meditation.
Nearly a half-million experimental trials were conducted at Princeton and the results appeared in the book, Margins Of Reality, by Professors Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne. Quite simply, some people were found to possess a phenomenal ability to affect (or intuit) seemingly random flows of Rng information.
Additional Rng studies at Stanford Research Institute in 1986 concluded that successful test subjects were using intuition (in the form of precognition) to determine the exact moment to press a play button and predict an advantageous string of numbers. It was during this period, the late 1980's, that Rng's as produced by International Game Technology in Nevada and other manufacturers, became a common feature in slot machines.
Physics World, an international journal for physicists, published a Greek physicist's paper on Rng's in 2000 that concluded the human mind can "sustain the 'direction' of any naturally occurring localized deviations from chance, such as a run...the operator could affect the patterns by which the bits are arranged in time."
All of these results taken together make a persuasive case that, under the right conditions, a human being can 'intuit' the most 'pregnant' slot machine to play and feel the right moment to play it to 'capture' a number combination that will produce a jackpot.
Many mega jackpot winners report having felt an intuitive attraction to a particular machine that proved a winner. Sue Henley, for one, went to the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas after work one morning in 1997 after feeling a strong intuitive resonance with a particular machine. "I gamble when I have a feeling," she explained after hitting a $12 million jackpot on the machine. "I only play when the hunch or feeling comes up."
My own experiences with intuition and slot machine jackpots since 2002-- amounting to $6,000 in winnings at a time -- have proven to be the anecdotal proof for me that probability theory, on which all casino executives base their 'house edge,' does not always rule with a firm hand.