In my case it was to get a range of data into a different order, perhaps for some testing, though I don't remember. The random numbers were just the sort keys, and I really didn't care about their values. In fact, I probably deleted the column after the sort, so for me it didn't really matter that the sort operation recalculated the keys and therefore they were not ascending after the sort because the sort had achived its purpose of reordering the rows.
OpenOffice 3.2.0 Build 9483 on Mac OS X 10.9.5. The locale for any menus or Calc formulas in my posts is English (USA).