a numbers game

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numbers game

1. The use of mathematics to deliberately manipulate facts or results. The accounting in that company was just a numbers game, so it's no wonder they got audited.
2. A scenario in which an increase in a certain type of action should lead to greater chance of a particular outcome (e.g. success). Dating is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the better your chances are at finding love.
See also: game, number

a numbers game

or

the numbers game

COMMON A numbers game or the numbers game is a way of using figures to support an argument, often in a way that is dishonest or has no real meaning. She has criticized the numbers game which assumes that an exhibition receiving 5,000 visitors each day is better than one receiving 3,000. Note: You can also say that someone plays a numbers game or plays the numbers game. The problem in the Church is that we play the numbers game whereby success is marked by attendance figures. Note: In the United States, the `numbers game' or `numbers racket' is an illegal lottery. It involves people placing small bets on a series of numbers that appear in particular sections of that day's newspaper, for example the stock market figures.
See also: game, number

a/the ˈnumbers game

a way of considering an activity, etc. that is concerned only with the number of people doing something, things achieved, etc., not with who or what they are: Candidates were playing the numbers game as the crucial vote drew closer.
See also: game, number
References in periodicals archive ?
IANS Sanjay Suri, whose next is My Birthday Song, says he is not in the numbers game.
Even by the inflated standards of PSG's Qatari owners, that's an awful lot of moolah to play for a footballer, particularly one whose impact is questioned by The Numbers Game, a fascinating look at the game's tactics and statistics.
The appendixes include blackline master for starting point 1 and lesson 3, and learning to play the numbers game worksheet.
BINGO lovers are celebrating 80 years of the numbers game on Tyneside.
The former Cypress High honor student is smart enough, though, to calculate the numbers game he is up against.
Alan Schwarz's The Numbers Game is not a statistical book but a book about statistics that reads like a fast-paced novel.
It's high time they sat up and smelled the coffee instead of playing the numbers game.
He blames the numbers game for most corporate calamities.
The numbers game is somewhat meaningful, but what's more important are the less quantifiable questions: Who's anticipating the problems of the future?
But Rosina Borg, who with Andy Watchman operates the company's gaming sector, said: "I'm aware of the numbers game, but that's done by a different team from the one looking at the SP review.
The numbers game started early April 30, when feminist Eleanor Smeal took the rally's podium and suggested that there were at least 750,000 people gathered, Several other speakers ran with Smeal's sum, although Washington, D,C.
Now, two researchers suggest a way out of the numbers game.
If you do, you're not the only one working the numbers game.
But Stoneman's talents go beyond the numbers game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
The numbers game is crunching the veteran golf coach at Canyon High, where the Cowboys' honor roll of past golfing standouts is offset by Meyers' problems just fielding enough players to qualify his girls' team for scoring this season.