# Predicting the future?

I was browsing my email one morning when I got this curious email:

Date: February 17, 2020

Subject: Want to see the future?

Hello, I am a clairvoyant who can predict the future. I have made a fortune from my talent and now I want to share it to you. However, this knowledge is not free. For just $129.99 you can enroll into my clairvoyant class Don't believe me? Here's a vision of the future free of charge: This week, the stock market will go down, so please withdraw all your money. Without hesitation, I deleted the email, thinking it was spam that somehow made it through the spam filter. Later this week, the stock market did indeed plunge rapidly. The following week I received another email: Date: February 28, 2020 Subject: Want to see the future? Do you believe me now? If you are, just know that for just$129.99 you can enroll into my clairvoyant class.

Still don't believe me? Here's another vision of the future free of charge: This upcoming Saturday, in a major upset, Watford will defeat Liverpool and end their winning streak.

"What a scam!" I thought. It was easy to predict a stock market crash, considering a pandemic coming. But to predict that Liverpool, the most dominating team in the football league, will lose to a team standing at the bottom of the table? The next day, to my dismay, Watford did beat Liverpool in a major upset.

Next week, I received another email:

Date: March 2, 2020

Subject: Want to see the future?

Do you believe me now? If you are, just know that for just \$129.99 you can enroll into my clairvoyant class! Too expensive? Remember that this class will help you see the future for the rest of your life!

Still don't believe me? Here's my last free vision of the future: You play the lottery? The Powerball for this Wednesday will be 14.

Sure enough, the Powerball number is 14 on Wednesday.

I am absolutely perplexed. On one hand, I still believe that this is a very elaborate scam. On the other hand, I still have zero idea how can he predict the stock market, sporting event, and even lottery number with absolute accuracy.

How does he do it?

• Well of course they are actually clairvoyant... /s May 1 '20 at 6:48
• If I was the scammer I would not make the prediction that Watford will beat Liverpool, because it is so unlikely... May 1 '20 at 10:20

## 1 Answer

It is is a scam that it depends on probabilities and outcomes: At first, they are making 2 target groups. For the first target group they send an email in which they claim that the market is going to rise and for the second target group they send an email in which they claim that the markets will go down. According to the outcome, next week they send an email only to those that their "prediction" was right. They are making new target groups and so on until someone believes them. In fact, 260 emails are needed at least in order that at least 1 person will receive 3 "successful predictions": https://imgur.com/a/oqigco5

• The question is "How does he do it?". It's not about how to succeed in this kind of business, so I don't think that the volume of emails is relevant to the question. May 1 '20 at 6:31
• Nice touch, well illustrated :)
– Stiv
May 1 '20 at 9:23
• Thanks @Stiv, considering your advice I thought that the minimum number of the needed emails would be a nice "extra" touch. May 1 '20 at 9:27
• @Mohirl you might want to change that rot13 there lol
– oAlt
May 1 '20 at 11:33
• Ha! I'm always doing that but I usually catch it before I post it @Stratos Fair point May 1 '20 at 16:30