THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
Lucky Louie is a numbers game where three players all guess a number, and the person with the number closest to the middle wins.
The origins of the game are shrouded in mystery, although there are several different theories about it. Some say the game originated in pre-spaceflight Earth, in the country called Canada.
One popular theory is that Ming devised the game as a way of making prisoners choose who was going to be tortured on a particular day; the two losers being sent off to the information retrieval specialists, and the winner earning a reprieve for that day - lucky, indeed!
The most detailed story of the origin of Lucky Louie, and the one most popularly believed to be true, is almost certainly an urban legend. The tale goes that in the early days of the exploration of the Solar System, three men set off in a private spaceship to explore the asteroid belt and find valuable resources. Although they travelled together, they were not a team, and each of them wished to claim his own share of the resources found. At first they divvied up the claims to asteroids by taking turns, but that turned out not to be a fair method, since one strike would be of minimal value and the next much more valuable. After trying various methods that were equally unworkable, they finally decided to leave things in the hands of Lady Luck.
But they needed a way to let luck operate. They couldn't toss coins or roll dice in zero-gravity. They tried the game of rock-paper-scissors but once they got experienced at it, the games too easily stale-mated. Finally, they invented a guessing game involving numbers, that seemed to all three of them to be a fair and equitable way of dividing their spoils.
But Lady Luck proved herself to be as unpredictable as always, and although the nature of the game was essentially random, one of the three seemed to win far more often than the others. His name was Louie, he came to be known as Lucky Louie, and the game was eventually named after him.
Not long after the invention of the game, the three split up, unable to come up with a way to split up their finds that pleased all of them, and went their separate ways. The game itself spread throughout the Solar System until it was played in bars and schoolyards, for fun, money and prestige.