**Congratulations to:** Sandchigger, Paul Bryden, Chris lope, Brian Minsker, John B, Eilidh, Matt (at comment 709), Ellen Henderson, Paige Roberts and Bill Heston. They’ve all won a copy of the book.

The rest of you may now attempt to surmise the methodology used to ascertain the winners. I’ll be interested to see if anyone gets it.

They’re all prime numbers. Moreover, if you list the prime numbers in a table of 25 rows/20 columns, you can see a diagonal pattern forming, i.e. 2 is 1st column/1st row, 79 is 2nd column/2nd row, and so on.

(Does this mean I also win a copy?)

Prime numbers.

I think I should get partial credit for partially predicting this in the giveaway thread. Comment 140 from yesterday: “Maybe the first 10 prime numbered comments, hmmm, that would be: 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 ….damn, already lost.”

Clearly I had no way of guessing a 20 column table of prime numbers in advance, but even coming up with primes (in advance) should be worth something :-)

Each of them sent you pie.

I hope not… I haven’t even looked at the results and my first thought was “primes” (thanks, Blaine the Monorail!). Kudos on the diagonal imagery though, wouldn’t have ever caught that.

list of prime numbers from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prime_numbers#The_first_500_prime_numbers going diagonally down

Shucks.

It apparently doesn’t involve the use of the word: Mutton.

If it’s not prime numbers, I was going to guess that the entry numbers could be combined to give old phone numbers.

How many times the cats begged to go out, and then decided it wasn’t worth it after you stopped what you were doing and opened the door for them? Like, on any random Tuesday?

Missed it by 1! I was at 708 :-/ The humerous thing is that when I clicked, the comments were at 666. Since I was exactly 42 higher by the time it posted, I figured that had to mean some kind of luck. I wonder just how close those two packets were when they hit Scalzi’s server?

I found all the numbers, copied them down, looked at them in puzzlement, and checked back here to see if anyone figured it out. Sheesh! I just figured out what the numbers were, and already several people found them, figured out the answer, and posted it. This is a fast crowd.

I found the numbers and googled them. That’s how I found the wiki page. Before I googled, I entered them into Wolfram Alpha but that didn’t tell me anything.

Man… I am kind of disappointed, because (having scored an inadvertent firstie on the prize thread) I was both one comment away from an ARC (since #2 got one), and my answer was excluded on a technicality (since 1 would have been on the diagonal if the table had been for non-composite numbers rather than primes).

Honestly, though, I can’t complain; I was conjecturing that the sequence would be Fibonacci-based.

Others have already mentioned that they are prime numbers. Starting with the first prime, 2, and increasing by 21 prime numbers. So, 79 is the 22nd prime number, 191 is the 43rd prime number, and so on.

That was fun. How about another one using e?

Prime Ministers?

I have no idea what the method was, but I suspected from the first mention that it would have something to do with prime numbers. On the other hand some of

thiscould also factor in somehow because when it comes to entering online giveaway contests I’m convinced that the odds of me ever winning involve some inconceivably huge numbers.Dang, missed it by one. Good thing I already bought a copy, but a signed one to give away would have been awesome.

Also: entertaining to note that while John muses,

“I’ll be interested to seein fact it took the first commenter all of 9 minutes.ifanyone gets it.”tartar sauce

congrats to all the winners. :)

No randomly thrown dart?

Anglo-Saxon names . . .

It had something to do with math? Argh. Too much dealing with math this week with teenager (Algebra II) finals. I am so glad I only have to deal with calculators at my age. Now if it had dealt with bacon, I would have understood. Did you know that Think Geek has a whole page in their catalog dedicated to bacon? Congrats to all the winners.

Bah, humbug!

Congrats to the winners.I would say the common demoninator is that they are all not me, and as such free from the complete vaccum of luck (good or bad) that I move in.

Anglo-Saxon names . . .I’m not really sure that Minsker, Iope, and Eilidh are Anglo-Saxon. The B. initial could be anything, and Sandchigger is traditionally an arthropodian name…

My wife said: something to do with prime numbers. Of course, she was right. She’s always right. Now back to that mutton….

(Knew I should have entered earlier.)

Congrats to all the winners!

Let me see. Mutton has 6 letters… 2 and 3 are it’s prime factors… So, I would say it was the 2nd prime number after each 3rd time mutton was used. It could only be that. Someone check my work. I’m too busy.

Maybe there’s something more to it?

If you ran the contest a few more times, someone might figure out the selection algorithm. Hint, hint.