Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, September 1, 2013

And the winner is...

We have a winner for our August contest! Congratulations to Dylan and Delaina Whitehead on winning the $200 Walmart gift card!

This was the first such contest we've held, but it wont' be the last. In fact, we're announcing another $200 Walmart gift card giveaway this month. And we'll continue to do so monthly, or something similar of the same magnitude, as long as it effectively matches or multiplies our fundraising efforts!

This month, our $200 investment resulted in $270 dollars in donations to the charities we support! And remember, we don't touch a dime of that money. So if you want to get in on our next drawing, donate through one of our fundraising pages (linked on the right side of this website) this month. Our next drawing will be held on the first weekend in October!

Many thanks to the Whiteheads and all who donated through our pages this month, and best of luck to all who enter this month's contest.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ -- Luke 6:38

As promised, I'm going to explain exactly how we executed the drawing so everyone can understand the process and that it is a truly random process.

  1. First, for each dollar donated during the month of August, we created a list with the donor's name and a number. For instance, our first donation of $10 assigned that donor's name to the numbers 1 - 10. The next donation of $100 assigned that donor's name to numbers 11 - 110, and so forth.
  2. Once the list was completed and the month of August ended, I used a TI-84 calculator to generate a random integer from 1 to 270. The calculator came up with the number 146 and the winner was the donor whose name had been assigned the number 146*.
*For those wondering if the calculator generates a truly random number, and for those who know that it only does if certain steps are taken, I will explain.

First, the calculator is a machine that follows a program (a list of steps) to generate a random number. Therefore, it is necessary to initiate the random number generator with some arbitrary number before asking it to choose a random number.

To accomplish this (what I like to call "priming" the random number generator), I asked our followers on Facebook to give me arbitrary numbers other than 0 or 1. I chose the first three numbers that were submitted and multiplied them together to get my entry to initiate the random number generator in the calculator. See the photo below of the calculator screen to see this process was done correctly.



As for the question, "Does the calculator truly generate a random number?" We looked at this in my Statistics and Probability class at the college on Thursday. I had my students use their calculators to generate 10 random integers between 1 and 50. My 15 students produced a data set with 150 entries. We created a stem and leaf plot and saw the data points were distributed pretty much evenly. Therefore, we deduced that the calculator does actually generate a truly random number when asked to do so.

This is method I will use to select winners in future contests as well.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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