Conservation of Luck

At the start of the game show Jeopardy, Alex Trebek often wishes the contestants “good luck to all three of you”. Which got me thinking…

Isn’t good luck for one contestant bad luck for the others? If one is lucky enough to get a category they’re familiar with, isn’t that bad luck for the others?

This leads to the supposition that “the total amount of luck in a closed system remains constant”, similar to the idea of conservation of energy. A corollary might be that the total amount of luck in a closed system is zero.

Of course, we have to be careful about the boundaries of our “closed system”. If all three contestants have bad luck and win very little money, isn’t that lucky for the person who has to pay out the prize money?

I might feel incredibly lucky that I dodged that bread truck and didn’t get run over, but isn’t that stroke of good luck offset by the bad luck for the undertaker, and the guy who makes his living fixing dents in bread trucks?

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