I use this link but don't quite understand it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_game What does the author imply here? "What separates and sets apart these 18 emerging market economies from the rest? For some, it’s a numbers game, as they started to grow at extremely low levels. Yet for some, there are four specific policies, according to the same study, which contribute."


1 Answer 1


Idioms can be used for so long that their meaning drifts when people do not understand the origin of the term. A numbers game is a lottery. However, gambling is the opposite of a sure thing – unless you are the one running the lottery.

The idiom refers to the way betting syndicates are able to rig a lottery through strategic mass-betting that shifts the odds in their favor. This betting syndicate will still lose individual games, but over time their strategy puts them ahead of the casual player. In the long run they are assured to make money. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Schultz#The_Numbers_Game

In a business context, the idiom means using a strategy of long-game mathematics to eventually come out ahead: making more cold calls will inevitably lead to more sales (mass betting), or buying real estate and sitting on the properties until the neighborhood's value increases (long game).

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