How It's Done
If you haven't yet read how the Sports Prediction Scam operates, go to our main feature: Con Alert! But if yo've read it, read on to find out how this clever fraud is pulled off.
How It's Done
Reading the account of the Sports Prediction Fraud, you probably wondered, how did the conman manage to predict an accurate sports score ten times in a row? Here's how.
The fellow starts out by mailing out 512 letters to 512 randomly selected names from the phone book. Half predict the Canucks will win, half predict the Leafs will win.
He discards the addresses of the recipients of bad predictions and sends out 256 letters to the winners, half predicting the Orioles will win and half predicting the Blue Jays will win.
He discards the addresses of the losers and sends out 128 letters to the remaining winners, half predicting the Lakers will win and half predicting the Bulls will win.
He again discards the losers and continues on as above until there is one person left who has had nothing but correct predictions ten times in a row. That person is now the patsy and ripe for plucking as he will readily believe this guy can predict the future. After all, hasn't he done it ten times in a row already?
If the con artist wants to "prove" himself in person, he might start with 1024 letters and narrow down to two people to visit personally. Then he can make a "live" prediction, one of which will, of course, be correct. Now he'll really have the sucker convinced and will really take him to the cleaners. The sucker may even mortgage his house to place a bet.
Beware of anyone claiming to be able to predict the future. It's a cute parlour trick and nothing more. Even the Amazing Kreskin was vociferous in denying that he had any supernatural powers and that everything he did had a natural explanation or was a trick.
You might want to visit About's Magic and Illusions Guide Bryan Dean to find more about magic and parlour tricks.
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