How Alan Turing cracked the casino before the Nazi code: A math genius used an equation to assess the chances of winning in roulette before he was appointed to Enigma.
- Alan Turing evaluated the possibility of winning roulette using equations, letter show
- The letter was written 88 years ago when he was an undergraduate student in Cambridge
- The 7-page letter is currently on sale at auction for a quote of £ 50,000
- Also on sale are photos of Turing held in Sherborne in 1930. It’s worth £ 4,000.
he He used his math genius to decipher the Nazi Enigma code and accelerate the Allied victory.
But before that, Alan Turing turned to a less important but potentially more profitable task: defeating the bank in Monte Carlo.
Almost a decade before his heroic efforts in World War II, he used equations to assess his chances of winning roulette.
Turing’s analysis was revealed in a letter written 88 years ago when he was a 21-year-old undergraduate student at King’s College, Cambridge.
He was inspired by the story of the school’s best friend’s father, the inventor of strip lighting, Alfred Bütel, of his past gambling successes.
Almost a decade before the heroic endeavors of World War II, Alan Turing used an equation to assess the chances of winning a Monte Carlo casino roulette wheel (pictured).
He was inspired by the past story of gambling by Alfred Bütel, the inventor of strip lighting. He told Turing that he devised the “Monte Carlo” method.Photo: Monte Carlo Casino Roulette Table
Beuttell told Turing that he devised his own “Monte Carlo” method and spent a month on the casino’s prize money on the French Riviera.
Turing tested Beuttell’s system and calculated the odds of winning after 150, 1,520, 4,560, and 30,400 spins.
According to his calculations, it was possible to win “unexpectedly large amounts” in the short term, but the longer the gambler plays, the “farther his chances are.”
Turing approved: “Thank you everyone. Feel that I don’t need to answer these angers.”
A seven-page handwritten letter on King’s College Headpaper was sent in February 1933 and remains with the family to this day.
Sold for a £ 50,000 quote through London auctioneer Bonhams on September 15th.
Turing’s analysis was unearthed in a letter (pictured) written 88 years ago. The letter is currently sold for an estimated £ 50,000 through a London auctioneer.
Also on sale at the auction are photographs of Turing and Butel’s son Victor and other boys and masters in Sherborne in 1930. It’s worth £ 4,000.
Turing became a lifelong friend of Beautel’s son Victor when he was a student at Sherborne School in Dorset in the late 1920s.
They spoke on the phone the night before Turing committed suicide in 1954 after being charged with homosexuality, which was illegal in Britain.
The Queen gave him a posthumous amnesty in 2013. Turing was played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2014 movie The Imitation Game about Enigma cracking.
Matthew Haley, Head of Books and Manuscripts for Bonhams, said:
“In a polite way, his conclusion seems to be that Bütel’s success was a beginner’s luck. It emphasizes Turing’s appeal with probability … I don’t think Turing was on the Monte Carlo roulette wheel. Hmm.
Pictures of Turing and Victor were also sold in Sherborne in 1930 with other boys and masters. This is worth £ 4,000.
Alan Turing used an equation to assess the chances of winning a roulette wheel before the Enigma.
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