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8:14am on Wednesday, 13th July, 2005:
There's a law in Britain that says you're not allowed to run a lottery. This was modified about 20 years ago to say you could run a lottery if you were a charity and the prize was small, then modified again about 10 years ago to say you could do it if you were Camelot plc..
This doesn't stop people running private lotteries, though.
Take GM TV. This is a television channel that has a daily "competition". They ask a question, more than 10,000 people pay £1 to give them the answer, then they pay the winner £10,000. Here's today's question:
This is about the hardest one I've ever seen.
The scam is that because it's a question, this makes it a game of skill rather than a lottery. So that's alright then.
All GMTV's "£10,000 giveaway" questions boil down to the same one. They could save themselves a lot of time and effort if they just asked it outright every morning:
The correct answer is a.
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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).