The Da Vinci Code Quest Winner NOT Announced

Apparently the person at Google Blogoscoped that goes by the nickname FoneJone was talking about something else when he/she said that the winner of the Da Vinci Code quest on Google was announced. The winner is still unannounced as far as I can tell.

I’m starting to wonder if there is something crazy going on behind the scenes there at Google. I have the feeling that they made a mistake in the delivery of the final round, and here’s why. The puzzles in the final round were supposed to be random so people would have a difficult time benefiting from those who shared their solutions. But when people started sharing their solutions online, it quickly became apparent that each person received the same puzzle.

Why weren’t the puzzles random?

This was the url Google gave the finalists:
http://www.google.com/ig/davinci/puzzle.html?puzzle=100

Why would Google append the puzzle=100 parameter? Maybe the above URL was used for testing and they forgot to remove that parameter before sending the email. Their solution was to just ignore the parameter and give everyone the same puzzles.

It’s hard to believe that Google would make a mistake like this. It’s more likely that Google wanted the puzzles to be the same for everyone so that no one could complain that his/her puzzle set was significantly more difficult than someone else’s.

Regardless of the randomlessness (:-D) . . .

The contest ended May 21st and the date of this post is May 31st. To me, it seems like ten days should be plenty of time to figure out who won. Then again, this was a 10,000-person race on the Internet. I don’t know if any Internet race of this magnitude has ever been conducted. Maybe Google was just using this contest as an experiment for something bigger and better. I have an idea of what this kind of data could be used for, and I’ll post about that later. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

I guess we’ll find out who the winner was soon enough. I’ll post details of the winner here when I find out from Google or Sony.

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