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Posted: 7/20/2008 10:57:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 11:14:45 PM EDT by Triumph955i]
I was at a St. Louis Cardinal's ball game this Friday against the San Diego Padres when my friend and I were discussing a game show that had "Whammy's" We simply couldn't name it.

It just so happened that the St. Louis fan seated directly in front of us had overheard our conversation and knew the game show "Press Your Luck" which lead to a story about the epic game with Michael Larson.

My friend and I didn't know about this gentleman from the game show but when we both got home we Immediately You tubed this to find out more.

It turned out to be an interesting story about a man that had figured out the numbers and took a game show for all its worth.

Micheal Larson took home $110,237 in 1984 Dollars. All because he used a VCR and watched multiple episodes of PYL an figured out the pattern of "random" prizes.

Spaces 4 & 8 proved to be cash crops and game shows took note that a random system could be used to their advantage.

Anyway, its an interesting, nostalgic story from the early 80's.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Wiki Entry
Michael Larson Story

Link Posted: 7/20/2008 11:24:07 PM EDT
Never heard of this before. Pretty cool story.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 11:26:34 PM EDT
I had heard of this awhile ago. The episode aired only one time I think. Pretty smart on his part.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:08:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:20:17 AM EDT
Taggage for when I have a better internet connection
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:22:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 5:56:24 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]
I remember seeing it on TV back when it first aired.

As a 7-year-old, I loved the whammy cartoons.

I didn't find out about the backstory until several years later.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:07:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:10:00 AM EDT

Tag for later.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 7:57:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
Very cool, and sad to see that he lost all the money he won.

Yeah, I read the wikipedia article on him. Sounds like he wasn't the most qualified person to handle his money. He lost a lot of it to a con artist, and most of the rest to a thief. Sad, really. He could have lived very comfortably.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:09:29 AM EDT
The wiki article wreaks of Karma. Easy come, easy go.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:13:44 AM EDT
no whammy no whammy no whammy stop!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:49:18 AM EDT
That's what happens when random isn't really random.

Back in 1995 a Nevada Gaming Control Board employee named Ron Harris got ahold of the pseudorandom number generator algorithm for Keno and wrote a program where you could input picked numbers and it would tell you which numbers would be coming up next in the sequence. All he had to do is sit in a hotel room and watch the Keno numbers on the hotel's TV channel and type them into his laptop, then radio the predictions down to his buddy in the casino.

Harris also hacked the code in slot machine's eproms to pay out when a sequence of coins were played.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:25:02 AM EDT
This was quite prevalent through the 80s and up to the mid 90s.

I have a cousin that's a engineer (Did alot of work with civilianizing military equipment). He wrote a something similar to the previous poster, where he could plug in numbers from the Ohio State Lottery & determine what would be picked. He determined that the balls were not weighted correctly in the machine that mixed them. He could accurately predict the correct number set in a pick 3 (3 balls of 9 numbers) once or twice a week.

Unfortunately he never did buy tickets as he is very much against gambling. He said in the late 90s, the state lottery went to a new system that made it impossible to predict, as it was then truely random.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 1:46:08 PM EDT
Someone with a little more knowledge may correct me, but I don't believe there really is such a thing as a truly "random" computer generated number.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 4:38:17 PM EDT
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