Could you be a boss? Are you a liar? How tough are you? Do you live on the edge? Those questions and others like them are asked and then answered by data scientist Jake Porway to reveal surprising information. Porway recites mind-bending stats, conducts entertaining man-on-the-street experiments, and takes part in interactive games, all in the name of providing insight into life's mysteries in a fast-paced, engaging way.

The Numbers Game - Netflix

Type: Reality

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2013-04-22

The Numbers Game - Numbers game - Netflix

The numbers game, also known as the numbers racket, the policy racket, the Italian lottery, the policy game, or the daily number, is a form of illegal gambling or illegal lottery played mostly in poor and working class neighborhoods in the United States, wherein a bettor attempts to pick three digits to match those that will be randomly drawn the following day. In recent years, the “number” would be the last three digits of “the handle”, the amount race track bettors placed on race day at a major racetrack, published in racing journals and major newspapers in New York. Gamblers place bets with a bookmaker (“bookie”) at a tavern, bar, barber shop, social club, or any other semi-private place that acts as an illegal betting parlor. Runners carry the money and betting slips between the betting parlors and the headquarters, called a numbers bank or policy bank. The name “policy” is based on the similarity to cheap insurance, which is also a gamble on the future.

The Numbers Game - In popular culture - Netflix

Old Policy Wheel is a 1935 painting by Walter Ellison, depicting a scene in a Chicago basement betting parlor. In the 1946 film noir The Killers, the Swede (Burt Lancaster) moves, fatally, from boxing to crime. The first criminal activity he is involved in is “the numbers racket.” The 1948 film noir Force of Evil revolves around the numbers racket, with the plot hinging upon the workings of policy banks. The film tells of a gangster who is trying to take over all the banks in New York City by rigging the mutuel numbers to come up 776 on Independence Day. Since everybody plays those numbers for the Fourth of July, the banks will go bankrupt filling the policies. The 1953 novel The City of Anger is about the criminal organization behind the numbers racket in a coastal city very similar to author William Manchester's hometown of Baltimore. In the 1972 film Come Back, Charleston Blue, a Kingpin attempts to bribe the lead characters by giving them “the number for tomorrow”. In the 1972 film The Godfather, Sonny and members of the Corleone family discuss the fact that black gangs have taken over their “policy banks” due to the turmoil caused by the gang wars between the Corleones and other New York Mafia families. In the 1972 film Shaft's Big Score!, John Shaft investigates the death of his friend, Cal Asby and discovers that while Asby appeared to be a beloved community member, he was also tied to a local numbers racket. A scene shows a character going door to door in a housing project, collecting money and handing out numbered slips. Missing money from this local numbers game is central to the film. In the 1978 film adaptation of The Wiz the Good Witch Of The North, Miss One, is a number runner, and her entire personality, way of speaking, and wardrobe is built around numbers. In the 1990 film Goodfellas, one of young Henry Hill's first jobs working for the Mob is as a numbers runner. A subplot of the August Wilson 1990 play Two Trains Running involves several characters placing numbers bets with a bookie character Wolf. One character, Sterling, has the goal of marrying one of the other characters, Risa, should the number she gave him win. The Spike Lee biographic film Malcolm X portrays some of the revolutionary black leader Malcolm X's early days in Harlem, where he worked as a numbers runner for a man named “West Indian Archie.” The numbers racket is also portrayed in the 1997 film Hoodlum. In the 1999 film Liberty Heights, Joe Mantegna's character runs numbers game. The 2001 season 1 episode “Fahrenheit 932” of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation investigates the murder of a runner.

The Numbers Game - References - Netflix