An experiment in risk and randomness ended badly for first-year Darden student Hideki Inoue. Identified as Darden’s “luckiest student” through a series of random drawings, Inoue could have won a $17,500 scholarship—a full semester’s tuition. All he had to do was choose between two briefcases and pick the one that contained the money; unfortunately, he guessed wrong and walked away with no more than a memorable learning experience.
The experiment was organized by professors Sam Bodily and Phil Pfeifer to illustrate the role that randomness and luck plays in business life. The contest was made possible by an anonymous gift termed “Random Act of Kindness.”