Running Numbers?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Nigel P, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Nigel P

    Nigel P Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard this phrase mentioned in many films, he used to run numbers. I just don't know what it means. Can anybody help me out?
     
  2. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I believe it refers to a lottery type of game that was run by the mafia or by someone from the neighborhood.
     
  3. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    These days it can mean anyone who uses stats or probabilities to make money, usually through some kind of gambling. Like saying the Casinos in Vegas have 'run the numbers' and the new game gives a 4.362% house edge.

    Or someone playing Blackjack or poker counting cards, they 'run the numbers' in their head to figure out if they should draw another card or stand.
     
  4. Tommy Ceez

    Tommy Ceez Second Unit

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    Bookie
     
  5. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    It used to be common, 30 or so years ago for people to "play the numbers". Usually there would be someone in the workplace or neighborhood who would collect your money and the number you wanted to play. This person who collected the money and betting slips for the bookie was known as the numbers runner. Basically the go between, between the people betting on numbers and the bookie. How did you win? In this case the winning number was the last 3 digits of the daily handle of a particular horse race.
     
  6. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Where I grew up it meant just what Bob described above.
     
  7. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    The full term to numbers is numbers racket (i.e. a scam or con.) A lot of numbers runners were put out of business by your government sanctioned state lotteries. Same game, different name.[​IMG]
     
  8. Nigel P

    Nigel P Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks alot for your replies. I guessed that it had something to do with gambling but never knew for sure.
     
  9. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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