The Press Your Luck Scandal.
I thought I'd linked to something about this before, but Google couldn't find it in the archives:
But there was something Michael Larsen hadn't told anyone.
Back in his home state of Ohio, he didn't have just one television, he had several. Each television was hooked up to a private networking farm of VCRs in his living room. In November of 1983, he recorded every episode of Press Your Luck over the course of several weeks. He studied these videotapes, slowed them down, and froze the images to examine randomized tile sequences frame by frame. If you haven't already guessed, Michael Larsen discovered that the Big Board on Press Your Luck was not a randomized display, but an iterative, sequential pattern which gave itself away once you knew what to look for.
Actually there were six patterns, each of which consisted of eighteen elements apiece -- and Michael Larsen had memorized them all. As long as his concentration and hand-eye coordination held out, Larsen would enjoy full control of the Big Board, and nothing would be left to chance.
Ultimately Larsen walked away with over $100,000 -- which, like so many lottery winners before him, he promptly lost to a ponzi scheme. (via kottke
, via Cynical-C