Owen K.C. Stephens

I mentioned this story recently, and a few folks claimed they’ve never heard it. This amazes me, because it’s one of my favorite stories.

In the late 1990s, my wife Lj worked for Saxon Publishing, a Norman, OK company that made math textbooks. Its staff, unsurprisingly, had a lot of people with mathematics degrees who wrote, designed, edited, and even fielded questions from school boards about their math texts.

One year for their Christmas party, which I attended with Lj, they had a professional for-fun-only casino come in. Everyone was given 10,000 of “Monopoly money.” There was a roulette wheel, craps, poker, blackjack, and a horseracing track. We were to play for 2 hours, and then the three people who had the most Monopoly money would get prizes. Lj didn’t want to play so she gave me her 10k, doubling my stake.

The mathematicians all rushed to whatever game of…

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