Sometimes it's important to know whether a pattern could be a fluke. Is a stockbroker lucky or trading on insider knowledge? Did a player throw a game or have a bad streak? Is the lottery rigged or could the same person win twice?
Reporters often turn to traditional methods like a chi-square test to determine statistical significance, but other techniques, from poisson distributions to monte carlo simulations, might be a better fit. This PowerPoint presentation will walk you through some of the methods you can use to answer the question: is it a fluke?