And Now, Your Chance To Win a Google Wave Invite

I promised a contest for one of my Google Wave invites, and here it is:

What number am I thinking of right now?

Yup, that’s it. Get it right, you win.

I’ll run this contest until, oh, 8pm eastern today.

In the event no one gets it, I’ll pick the number closest to it. If more than one person picks the number I’ll pick the first one to pick it.

To assure you that I will not just pick a number out of the air, I have entrusted Justine Larbalestier with the number for verification purposes. YOU CANNOT BRIBE HER. I already gave her one of my other GWave invites.

Note also that while I will process the winning e-mail for notification immediately, I make no promises on how long it will take to process (they are technically “nominations”). That’s up to Google.

Now: Tell me the number!

602 Comments on “And Now, Your Chance To Win a Google Wave Invite

  1. 19

    Congratulations to whoever ends up winning as I’m pretty sure it won’t be me. ;)

  2. OK, wow. there were zero comments and in the time it took me to type “42” I ended 11th in line.

  3. I don’t even know what Google Wave is (cuz i haven’t googled it) but I know that I want it.

    You are thinking of the #7.

  4. Someone guessed Pi before me, therefore I change my guess to Phi (1.61803399).

  5. What the hey. I pick 52.

    Yes, I know that’s ten too many.

  6. Well, why not…


    That’s a number, right?

  7. Oh, heck – for some reason the comments didn’t come up when I looked (before I posted) and I see someone else has 42. May I switch to 55? (My age as of yesterday…)

  8. @shawn
    I swear your response wasn’t there when I started to post. I would say something about great minds, but I’m not sure that being stuck on 80s rock makes us great.

  9. 42! (Does the ! help?) I’m hoping so. Can’t wait to run my car on AAA batteries! Plus my cat looks flat.

  10. To clarify, the specific euler’s number I was thinking of is (pulling from Wikipedia)…

    2.71828 18284 59045 23536…

    (Sorry for the irrelevant comment.)

  11. A Googol

    i.e. 10^100

  12. 4.4 million (age, in years, of Ardipithecus ramidus, or “Ardi”)

  13. Damn, between opening the page and finding somewhere that had a googol written down (so I could copy paste it in) 67 comments got posted including someone else who picked 10^100, guess that makes me not the winner :)

  14. 311 (the number of pages in the copy of OMW sitting on my desk right now)

  15. I’d guess your Daughter Athena’s age.


    more then 2….

  16. @sarah #52 — you’re right, it wasn’t there at first. I had to go “Back in Time” Huey Lewis style to post before you.

    Yeah, we’re a bit lame I guess… ;)

  17. Ok, if it is a actually a Googol, I am going to be pissed off for missing by less than a minute!

  18. 2701

    The product of two primes 37 and the digit reversal of it: 73. That is, 37*73=2701; Made so famous in N.S.’s Cryptonomicon.

  19. Sqrt(-1)!

    ! Indicates emphasis, not factorial, by the way.

  20. I’m beginning to think there might be more than 4 or 5 us following Scalzi… Glad I didn’t check the follow-up comments box!

  21. And I’m an idiot. Avogadro’s number, correctly noted: 6.022 x 10 ^ 23. Minus sign FAIL.

  22. 1337

    Maybe. Well… only if you’re a huge geek. In which case we both kinda lose.

  23. Google Wave in Binary is 0100011101101111011011110110011101101100011001010010000001010111011000010111011001100101.

    That’s the number you’re thinking of.

  24. 71

    (If you must know why, research the late George Carlin for the answer)

  25. The Feigenbaum constant. Always one of my favourites. 4.6692016091029….

  26. I’m going to go with googolplex. One with one hundred zeros behind it. Probably not the answer, but it had to be mentioned in the thread someplace.

  27. 1970 since that was the year I was presented to this world.

  28. woops, I was’t copying, I swear… okay, disregard my “42”.

    make it… um… (searches above) (damn, someone took the golden ratio!)

    53 (just popped into my head)

  29. 26, under the “it’s too unremarkable to have been guessed already” theory.

  30. I know I’m wrong, but I really really really want an invite so I’m trying anyway.

    Google Wave in hex bytes.

  31. PI since I’m feeling very circular today.

    3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510

  32. I bet you are not thinking it but Planck’s constant:
    6.626068 × 10-34 m2 kg / s

  33. Weird. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread here accumulate responses as fast as this one is.

    227, which is how many responses are up so far.

  34. It looks like most of the unique and interesting choices are taken, so I’ll go with 34. Don’t think I’ve seen that one yet.

  35. 525,600
    Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes…

  36. 01000111011011110110111101100111011011000110010100100000010101110110000101110110

  37. Ha, teach me not to search first. Well, there are only so many… Huh… infinity? (“What, zero’s a percent.”)

  38. Well, since e, phi, and Planck’s constant are already taken:


  39. 8,202,008

    I feel like we’re playing the Price is Right.

  40. 16574146 ( derived by pressing randomly on number pad)

  41. n = c / pi ^ 2 + i (10^100) / 42 ^ e

    I think that pretty well covers all the pop culture constants, doesn’t it?

    Yeah, yeah, I know – pi isn’t squared, it’s round.

  42. DANG IT! By the time I wrote that, it went from no googolplexes to several before my post… Man this is filling up fast!

  43. 77 why not.

    though I was tempted to throw in a Fibonacci sequence (good thing I didn’t, had to use google to find the spelling.

  44. Three people have already guessed Valjean’s first prison number. (He did have a second one, but it only appears in the book, and I doubt Scalzi is that much of a Les Miz geek.)

    No one has guessed the temperature at which paper catches fire (Fahrenheit or Celsius) — and we’re in the middle of Banned Books week, geesh.

    I’m not guessing either of those numbers, as I said in the other thread, I already have been nominated. I’m just saying I’m disappointed.

  45. NOOOOO!!! john, john please let me delete the comment. y’see I’m a m…. yeah a member of the ultra secret Fibonacci group.

    and they’ll take my secret decoder ring away.

  46. Aw, hell, never mind–two people in front of me picked 13! That’s what I get for NOT searching first…

  47. 1 googol
    = 10100
    = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  48. 357

    Scalzi transliterated into Hebrew and assigned a numerical value according to the principals of gematria.

  49. Graham’s Number. This number is so big that it can’t be written in standard scientific notation. You can’t even write down the number of digits it has in scientific notation. Heck, you can’t write down the number that states the number of digits of the number that states the number of digits of Graham’s Number in scientific notation.

    As a side note, Graham’s Number is the upper bound in a particular combinatorial proof. The current lower bound is 11 (recently improved from 6, which isn’t really that much of an improvement if you think about it).

  50. The number you’re thinking about then or now? Or… now? What about later; after you’ve read this? 3!!! Just then you thought of the number 3. Okay, yes, I did force you to think 3… damn I did it again, sorry. I’ll stop making you think of 3, from now on I’ll only focus on the number 41. You’re thinking about the number 41. Ah ha! I was right, you are thinking of 41 just then. Even now, you’re thinking of 41. After this clearly distracting sentence you think of the number 41! 41, 41, 41. Okay, now you’re reflecting on how I made you think of the number 3, but like I said we’re done with the 3, so stop thinking about it… I’m confused now. I know, I clearly made you think of the number 3 and the number 41, but what will you ultimately think of? Hell, it could be the number 159 and I’ll lose because it wasn’t 159 and some other number like 77. No, I’ve decided; you thought of 41. However, to increase my chances I foresee you thought of 3, 41, 3 (again), 77, 159, and then 41 within the last 90 seconds.

    Did I win?

  51. Assuming A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Bacon spells out 2+1+3+15+14=35.

    …so: 35!

  52. As uttered by Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan; “69 dude!”.

    But I’ll disqualify myself John as I am already on the Gwave.

  53. I’ll go with 159. (I see that #342 has already mentioned it, but for some reason it seems to be the last number my son recognizes before he gets to “google” and “googleplex”)

  54. I can’t believe Matt B posted my number first, “152”. Who the Hell picks 152 except for me? OK, Matt B, my number is now 153. Suck on that!

  55. 347
    I was going to do 247, but someone else got that. Hudson, that wave was gonna be *mine*.

  56. 19+69i

    Because your complex 40 year old guy (and 1969 was taken).

  57. 59.
    Don’t know why… just leapt into my head!

  58. “You are coming through in waves,”
    from Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb is 6:54,
    therefore, I’m going with 654.
    PS I’m listening to it now . . .

  59. 10-2-2009, on second thought, for the premiere of SG-U that our esteemed host might just have some small interest in…..

  60. Well since every mundane possibility has been guessed so far, I’ll go with Aleph-One: the cardinality of the set of all countable ordinal numbers. (This is opposed to the smaller infinity Aleph-Null the cardinality of the set of all natural numbers, which could be construed as taken by the earlier guess at “infinity.”)

  61. Just in case, here’s my main email . . .

  62. 42 was obviously your first choice, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

    On the other hand, if you wanted people to think it would be too easy, you’d pick it, just to throw us off.

    On the other hand, we know how sneaky you are, and we’d think you’d NOT pick it because you might pick it just to throw us off.

    On the other hand, I’m confusing myself with all these hands, so I’m just going to pick 967.

  63. 100,000 just like the amount of google invites they released :-)

  64. Ooooo maybe 100,000, the number of people the new round of invites went to.

  65. Also 420, the number I posted my last post and the time I posted!

  66. i (as in the square root of negative 1)
    It totally makes sense because the number is in your head, which makes it imaginary…. yeah, totally makes sense… right?

    My second guess (are we allowed 2? oh well) would be 8, because that’s how many invites you get and whatnot

  67. 42,000,000, ’cause no one else has guessed it yet.

  68. Because nobody else is likely to pick it.

    Kaitou Kid’s number… 1412

  69. 449 because that should be the comment number for this comment.

  70. 47.

    Because that’s my jersey number. And a prime number. Makes it doubly cool.

    Please send the invite to my mom, she’s interested in this new Wave-thingy. Oh wait, no, I already sent one to her after I sent one to you. See? You rank ABOVE my mother.

  71. 149 – the first 3 squares, the ratio of the sides of the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    667 – the neighbor of the beast



    How many guesses do we get again?

  72. Uh oh, somebody not you already picked 79. How about 97?

  73. Er, thought 93 but typed 97. So, I am guessing 93.

  74. The fine structure constant. Perhaps the closest a simple number comes to being the answer to life the universe and everything.

    It’s about 1/137:

    7.297352570(5)×10−3 is the best current estimate – it’s e^2cμ0 / 2h (ie the charge on an electron squared time the speed of light, times the permittivity of free space divided by twice Planck’s constant)

  75. I’m gonna guess 1998, the year Athena was born. I didn’t have time to go through and read all the rest of the replies though so sorry if it’s a repeat (this page took FOREVER to load).

  76. 8. Suprisingly, I don’t think anyone else has guessed that yet, though searching for it is hard.
    8 and a half. No reason.

  77. dayam! almost 500 posts in three hours. 494 as of my typing this so that’s my number. 494 Hope I don’t win. I don’t even know what Google Wave is. Heh.

  78. I submit the following nunbers. Being nerdy, I loaded the existing comments into a spreadsheet, filtered and sorted, and herby submit all the integers from 0 to 100 not already claimed.
    (it is possible and likely I missed some integers with additional text in the comments enough to confuse my spreadsheet filter)

  79. My standard “random” number is 5,238

    [My other guesses would have been pi and e.


  80. Hey Mr. Scalzi:

    Just out of curiosity, when you say “closest” is that closest arithmetically, or a Price is Right kind of closest, where it’s closest to intent, or closest without going over, or something like that?

  81. I wanted to pick 0, but someone has already, and feel it is important to mention that fact – harrumph! So I pick 649.

  82. I’m not sure what google wave is, or I’d be looking up John, Athena, and the Mrs. birthdays and looking for months/days that haven’t been claimed yet.

  83. I’ll go with the Mersenne prime (2^43,112,609 − 1). I’m not sure if this conflicts with @419, seeing as it’s the largest “known” prime number.

    As a backup let’s say Avagadro’s number (approx 6.022 141 79 × 10^23).

  84. 3.14159265389793238462643383
    (that’s all I have memorized….)(why, yes, I am a nerd)

  85. #0

    Wait! Whats the rules around if someone already picked the number you picked?

    Is it first post, first served or is it based on whoever guessed it with more feeling?

  86. Cherries!! er, very small Rocks!! Bread!!

  87. How ’bout 1596062991? Or is the other way round – 978-1596062993?

  88. What number are you thinking right now, right now when? Like, right now right now, or right now when you posted?

    Because right now right now you’re thinking about bacon. And Bacon isn’t a number.

    Dammit, now you’re thinking about your Hugo awards. Give it a rest.


  89. Hmm… Should have read the comments first. Let’s go with 3125 or 5^5. I’ve always thought base 5 more natural than base 10, so I’m hoping you do the same.

  90. Bacon isn’t a number, but Scalzi has a bacon number. John Scalzi works on Stargate Universe, which has actor Lou Diamond Phillips in it. He was in Striking Range with Glenn Morshower, who was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon

    Ergo, Scalzi has a bacon number of 3.

  91. Nooooooooooo. It’s still 7:59pm, right? I’ll just guess 18,753 for the heck of it.

  92. 2 million 500 thousand (tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night.)

  93. Somewhere around -700?

    I’m tempted to guess interesting numbers, like the largest known Mersenne prime, or just a run-of-the-mill imaginary number. But I don’t want to mess up my chances. Besides, I just did an in-page search for “Mersenne”, and it’s already taken. *sigh*