Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Final Time for DVCQoG

With lots of help from GoogleFact, I completed the The Da Vinci Code Quest on Google in 11 mins 9 seconds.

I think I could have done it faster with practice.

So, puzzle one - SuDoKu (see my blog post on that if you want a solver) - was the same for me as everyone else:

Took less about two minutes of clicking.

Puzzle two - Restoration, also the same. Solved as follows, also about 2 mins:

Puzzle three - Pictures - easy without cheating, about 1 1/2 mins:

Puzzle four - Chess - 2-2-4, less than 30 secs.

So I was into the Jigsaw in about 6 mins. It took me 5 mins to do. Corners, sides, then middle. It is very hard on the eyes - glad I'm not epileptic.

All in all, a fun time, but I don't think I'm fast enough to win. Someone else will have to pay the taxes.

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Lots of links from the official blog


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband got a time between 8 and nine minutes; I don't know exactly, because we didn't use a stopwatch...but he started at 10:53 and ended at 11:01. Anyone reporting shorter times than that? I sure could use a vacation. (:

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the rules:

"All federal, state, or other tax liabilities arising from the Contest will be the sole responsibility of Finalists and the Grand Prize winner. Grand Prize winner will receive an IRS Form 1099 from the Sponsor for the total ARV of the Grand Prize and the Finalist Prize stated above that he/she won in the calendar year won."

So let's do some calculation:

Total value is $128,170.54. That will definitely push you into the 30% tax bracket. Therefore, you will pay at least $38,451.16 more in taxes to IRS alone and additional state tax (if your state has income tax) because it will add to your own income and make your own income subject to higher tax. And now let's take a look at the breakdown of the prizes. Besides the travel portion, the rest of the prizes is only worth $8,773.30. Of couse you could sell these electronic stuffs on ebay, but you may only sell them at or below the fair market value. That's not even close to the $40K you will be paying to Uncle Sam. So you may want to sell the travel package to someone, but it will be difficult. First of all, if someone wants to travel, most likely people will travel coach. Remember the travel portion is all first class. Second, if I know someone is selling that travel portion, of course I won't pay full value for the first class. Therefore, you may be able to sell, but the money you get is definitely lower than the fair value ($29,849.31 per person). Also, when you sell the travel portion, you will be traveling with someone you don't even know. (I think you have to one of the four people traveling if you win because it will be under your name and the travel is made through a coordinator). As a result, all the money that you could get from selling the entire package may just end up paying Uncle Sam and the state. On the other hand, if you have $40K to pay in taxes, why don't you just buy you own electronic stuffs (it costs only $8,773.30 anyway), and that leaves you almost $31K to travel. Now tell me, anyone spend more than $31K on one trip (seven days) for four people?

From these observations, Google would care less if someone cheated, copy, backdoor, or whatever to complete the challenge in about 2 minutes. Google will just hand you the 1099 and you will have to figure out how to get the money to pay Uncle Sam and the state. So let me ask some of you here, why do you want to win the prize so bad that you will do whatever it takes to be the one with the fastest time? Just think about the taxes you have to pay make me care less if I don't win. How about the rest of you?

10:39 AM  
Anonymous speedyquick said...

after much practicing on a friend's final puzzle, we scored a ~ 4 minute time. Hope we get to figure out the taxes, I don't mind!

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be nice to win for the accolades and cross the tax bridge when you come to it. You could always decline the prize. That's what I would have to do. BTW the sponsor who's paying for the prize is Sony, not Google.

You might be able to get more than fair value for the electronics on ebay. Buyers there are notorious for overpaying.

If you managed to sell some of the travel you'd have to declare that as income too.

The trips are IIRC for 4 nights each, not 7. Think about that for a minute. Leave on a Sunday afternoon out of JFK and arrive early Monday morning in Europe. You only get to enjoy 3 days because Monday is shot because of jet lag and Friday is your return flight home. Days of the week when you travel might be different but Sony gets to pick the travel coordinator and they choose the airlines and flights. That can't be good.

The Eurostar trip from London sounds nice but there's no hotel accomodations in Avignon so god knows how that's supposed to work.

A contest where nobody wants to win. Fan-freaking-tastic.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are all stupid. If you win, you will be on the talk show circut. You will make plenty more in talk show appearances to more than pay for the taxes.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

WTF are you talking about!?
You're even stupider if you think this contest was so popular that anyone would have you on their talk show.
You'ld be lucky to get a mention in the local (as in very local) 10pm newscast.
Get a grip, nerd.

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