Taught my 8 y/o son this scam on Saturday. The wife had some friends over so I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity for him to show off and have a good time. I showed him the trick with a couple Harry Potter books that were on the shelf. He was totally shocked. When I walked through the math with him he got all excited.
We chose a couple other books off the shelves for him to learn and then got to work with our plan. (Moby Dick and Alice in Wonderland) We worked as a team for the scam.
Here's how we did it:
- He leaned the words. Took some practice. ("Humility" was a hard word for him to remember.)
- He told the guests and my wife that he had memorized all of the words in the books in our library. Not just the words but the exact position of every word in all the books.
- I told him that I'd quiz him. I pulled two "random" books off the shelf.
- Got a 3 digit number from the wife and ran through the math for a "random" number.
- A guest picked which book and of course he came up with the correct word.
Here's where we blew their minds. My wife, being the suspicious one, decided to pick out a book herself. (Uh, oh...) She told my son to grab a Harry Potter book. (YES!!!) I suggested that we'd already found a great random number, let's just go to the same place. She and her friends agreed. Flipped it open and I whipped out the correct word. Minds totally blown.
What's the chances that she'd just happen to pick the correct books? Probably 1 in a hundred but it worked out for us this time.