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# PHP for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide: Using Numbers

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## Creating Random Numbers

The last function you’ll learn about in this chapter is rand(), a random-number generator. All it does is output a random number:

```\$n = rand(); // 31
\$n = rand(); // 87```

The rand() function can also take minimum and maximum parameters, if you prefer to limit the generated number to a specific range:

`\$n = rand (0, 10);`

These values are inclusive, so in this case 0 and 10 are feasible returned values.

As an example of generating random numbers, let’s create a simple “Lucky Numbers” script.

To generate random numbers:

1. Begin a new document in your text editor or IDE, to be named random.php (Script 4.6):
```<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
<title>Lucky Numbers</title>
<body>```

#### Script 4.6. The rand() function generates a random number.

```1    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
2       "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
3    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
5       <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"/>
6       <title>Lucky Numbers</title>
8    <body>
9    <?php // Script 4.6 - random.php
10   /* This script generates 3 random numbers. */
11
12   // Address error handling, if you want.
13
14   // Create three random numbers:
`15   \$n1 = rand (1, 99);`
`16   \$n2 = rand (1, 99);`
`17   \$n3 = rand (1, 99);`
18
19   // Print out the numbers:
20   print "<p>Your lucky numbers are:<br />
21   \$n1<br />
22   \$n2<br />
23   \$n3</p>";
24
25   ?>
26   </body>
27   </html>```
2. Include the PHP tags and address error management, if you need to:
`<?php // Script 4.6 - random.php`
3. Create three random numbers:
```\$n1 = rand (1, 99);
\$n2 = rand (1, 99);
\$n3 = rand (1, 99);```

This script prints out a person’s lucky numbers, like those found on the back of a fortune cookie. These numbers are generated by calling the rand() function three separate times and assigning each result to a different variable.

4. Print out the numbers:
```print "<p>Your lucky numbers
are:<br />
\$n1<br />
\$n2<br />
\$n3</p>";```

The print statement is fairly simple. The numbers are printed, each on its own line, by using the HTML break tag.

5. Close the PHP code and the HTML page:
```?>
</body>
</html>```
6. Save the file as random.php, place it in the proper directory for your PHP-enabled server, and test it in your Web browser . Refresh the page to see different numbers .