27 all newspaper headlines to begin with random number

NEWSPAPERS are hoping to increase readership by placing a randomly selected number at the start of each headline.

Research shows that headlines beginning with a random number are less intimidating and make readers more confident they will be able to understand what the article is about.

Today’s Times leads with ‘9 men told to wait before prostate cancer treatment’ while the Guardian’s top story is ’14 high-level rift delays universal credit scheme’.

Times editor, John Witherow, said: “If you read the story you’ll hopefully realise that it’s not just nine men, but nine was today’s randomly selected put-the-reader-at-ease number.”

Julian Cook, ‘professor’ of media at Roehampton University said: “The random number isn’t just about making the reader feel intelligent enough to read the article, it also helps them estimate how long it will take.

“We all lead increasingly busy and important lives, which is why the random number tends not to be 4,007.”

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger added: “You could argue that because of the 14 the headline doesn’t really make sense, but I would argue that the headline has a 14 at the beginning of it.”

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Gambling machines 'the stock market for poor people'

HIGH-STAKES gambling machines are the nearest poor people can get to the thrill of the stock exchange, according to bookmakers.

Responding to Labour’s accusations that they are fuelling poverty, betting shop owners said they were merely offering working class equivalent of City trading.

Bookie Roy Hobbs said: “People who go to private school get to gamble on the stock exchange, where they shout at monitors, take cocaine in the bogs and then enjoy lobster dinners with Estonian prostitutes.

“This is the closest that unshaven smelly men can get to throwing billions into the lap of the gods with little regard for the consequences.

“That gun in the corner might look like a shambling wreck in a pleather jacket, but in his mind he’s Michael Douglas.”

Betting shop regular Stephen Malley said: “Playing the slotties is a rollercoaster.

“The highs are high and the lows are low. Actually the highs are pretty low as well.”

Roy Hobbs added: “In any case I’m not sure there’s anything we can do to make betting here less appealing. Our premises already look like Hell’s waiting room, with withered smoking men outside like sentinels of death.

“We could leave a dead goat in the middle of the room, even then I don’t think it’d put our punters off. The main thing is that their wives aren’t here.”