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. kansascityappraiser – I am the owner of an appraisal company in the Kansas City area called Quality Group Midwest.


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

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

  4. 842.1

    Why are so many of you assuming it’s between 1 and 100? :p

  5. What the hey. I pick 52.

    Yes, I know that’s ten too many.

  6. 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…)

  7. @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.

  8. 42! (Does the ! help?) I’m hoping so. Can’t wait to run my car on AAA batteries! Plus my cat looks flat.

  9. 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.)

  10. A Googol

    i.e. 10^100

  11. 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 :)

  12. @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… ;)

  13. Tony Noland – near Philadelphia, PA – Tony Noland is a writer, blogger and poet in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. He takes his writing seriously, but has somehow gotten a reputation as a funny guy. Most of his work is science fiction, literary fiction and magical realism. Tony is active on Twitter as @TonyNoland, and you can find his fiction at his writing blog Landless,
    Tony Noland

    I’m going to guess…

    one googol.

  14. 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.

  15. A googolplex!


    (What, too obvious? Sigh.)

  16. Jack – I’m a Southern writer, physicist, and teacher. On this here blog you’ll find my thoughts on books, technology, science, and whatever else I darn well please.


    ! Indicates emphasis, not factorial, by the way.

  17. 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!

  18. lysanderprophet – I enjoy literature, music, and chocolate milkshakes. I cannot do a backflip. So don't ask me to do one when you see me next, because I can't.


  19. lannalee – Westbrook, Maine – Lanna Lee Maheux is a speaker, podcaster, actor, geek, silly person, femme fatale, singer, lover, twit, and recovering Stand-Up Comic. Host of the podcast Lounging with LannaLee. Since 2010 she has co-hosted The Lex and Lanna Show with Alexis Lyon. In 2011 she and her husband Edmund, started their own bi-weekly podcast, The Bureau of Awesome.
    Lanna Lee Maheux-Quinn

    Rational? Integer? Negative or positive?


    (please,please,please,please,please pick me!)

  20. 661 because Google is the beast and 666 is too obvious.

  21. 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.

  22. 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)

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

    Google Wave in hex bytes.

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

    3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510

  25. 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.

  26. Octopusgrabbus – Works as a programmer in municipal information technology, performing database and web programming, systems integration, and data conversion.


  27. 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.

  28. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    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.

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 357

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

  35. techsweat – Tallahassee, FL – I work in IT by day and do group-based personal training by night. This is where I will post stuff that interests me in both fields.b


  36. 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).

  37. 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?

  38. 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.

  39. 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”)

  40. 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!

  41. 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.”)

  42. 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.

  43. Marta – Chicago, IL – Working Mom of two wonderful kids, caretaker of a rambunctious dog and generally one crazy ass lady. Just ask my husband.

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

  44. Peter S – An American who having discovered anime a few years ago decided to start writing about it, which is sort of embarrassing considering I'm 55.
    Peter S


  45. 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

  46. writeemup – Vermont – I love words; reading, writing, and experiencing them with my eyes and ears. This is my bookblog, where I share my adventures with the world.

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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?

  49. bakers001 – Prairie Grove, AR – I'm a movie and book geek who loves Horror, Science-Fiction, and Fantasy. When I'm not reviewing either type on my blog, I like to write my own fiction. I live in Northwest Arkansas with my wife and three kids.


  50. Richard Gadsden – Manchester, England, UK – British Lib Dem, sf nerd, amateur historian, election-systems geek, professionally a developer, can be found as po8crg on most platforms.
    Richard Gadsden

    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)

  51. ytimynona – FLORIDA – I'm a big wannabe. Wannabe a truck driver, PotUS, scientist, writer, and teacher. Well, I already am a teacher. :-)
    Anny Mouse

    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).