Number Games Meaning

(idiomatic) A numbers game: the use of inappropriate statistics (numbers) to reflect a desired result (usually misleading).

Example: 1980, United States House of Representatives, Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production, (transcript of the proceedings about the) Omnibus Geothermal Energy Legislation, page 159:
  This sounds like we are playing number games, and I wonder if 20000 megawatts is a realistic guess.
2011, David Gilmour, The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples, page 389:
  To many of their compatriots, politicians seem an innately frivolous breed. […] When they have to retire backstage, they spend their time playing number games, plotting new combinations, making and unmaking coalitions.
(Can we date this quote?), Liam Miller, Memento Mori:
  "In other words, they were playing number games with an author so they didn't look bad to their investors. They do it a lot."
plural of number game: lotteries, numbers games.
1990, John Dombrink, William Norman Thompson, The Last Resort: Success And Failure In Campaigns For Casinos, page 99:
  Like several other northeastern states, New York has also legalized various forms of lottery and number games.
1993, Peter DeLeon, Thinking About Political Corruption, page 36:
  The functional argument also encompasses the "victimless crime" issue: prostitution, narcotics, and number games are illegal, yet they flourish and are indeed eagerly sought out by everyday citizens.