I don't think anyone should be scolded for interpreting it differently.
Well, maybe if what you had to say was said in a amicable, friendly, clarifying way, rather than a condescending, know-it-all, 'I know what you mean by your post better than you' way the replies would less 'scolding'?
For instance, what if you said:
Could you clarify if the links were on the pages ranking or pointing to the pages ranking?
the 300 link to lottery where on-page
so it is not an off-page factor is it?
If you had I probably would not have tried to stick up for the OP a bit, or am I maybe I'm misunderstanding the condescending tone of your post? If so, and your post is not a condescending quip at the person who actually knows the situation, please feel free to clarify what exactly it is, because it's certainly not a friendly question for clarification in any way shape or form, and there aren't too many different ways I can see to read yours.
Should I split hairs on whether you meant where or were in the first line of your post, because I probably could?
Back on topic:
Maybe we can all agree whatever page these links were on, whether the ranking page or the page pointing to the page ranking there was NOT MUCH (a few words at most) text in any way related to the terms the page was ranking for and it should not, based on the overall content of the pages ranking, have ranked for those terms because all but a few words (probably 99% or more) of the content was about an entirely different topic, which seems to say 'on page content' in this situation seems to be heavily discounted?
AFAIK, the text in links to a page still 'count as part of the content' of the page they are pointing to, so whether the links were on the pages ranking, or pointing to the pages ranking, AFAIK, from a 'purely Google perspective' the pages ranking should have been 'credited' with the same amount of 'text on the page' either way the links were pointing, and possibly more if text surrounding the links is also credited to the page the links are pointing to.
The point still seems to be the same, very little to no content on the subject, except some link text credit one direction or the other and the pages ranked for the terms. I still keep getting an 'essentially the same' view of the situation, even when I try to interpret it totally differently and look at it logically... I keep coming up with little to no text on the subject the pages were ranking for 'credited' in any way shape or form to the pages ranking, so do on-page factors matter any more seems to be a valid question, to me.