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It makes me sad to know that out of 25 eligible applicants, I’m only able to give away five books – but at least five of you will be very happy!

Here are the users that won Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, donated by Heavy Ink!

JesterJDT – Jesse from Toledo, OH.

DaveWheeler952Dave from Minnetonka, MN.

DevilSoprano – Brian from Charlotte, NC.

Marc – Marc from Milwaukee, WI.

Lonefeather – Sam from Pebble Beach, CA.

Congratulations to all of you!

They’ve been put in touch with Heavy Ink, who will be sending out their books soon.

I thought some of you may be a little curious about how I pick the winners.

Since some of the site users are my friends, some have been contributors and supporters for some time, some are obvious heavy users and some are obviously brand new – I want to be careful not to be biased in the selection. Everyone should have an equal chance!

So I use a fully mechanical process. First I take each user’s user id number (generated based on what order you signed up) and list them out in an excel doc. (You can see your user id by hovering over the icon next to your name when you comment.)

I use user ids instead of usernames, because I don’t want to be subconsciously influenced by knowing what number represents who.

Then I put the formula “=rand()” in the column next to the user id values.

This formula generates a random decimal number every time you refresh it. So by sorting the selection by that column, all the numbers end up in a random spot on the list every time you sort the column.

For no real reason, I also sort the column back and forth a few times (it just makes me feel like they’re more mixed up.) Then I just pick the first values on the list!

For this set of results, I’m actually showing the full list there on the left.

So if you’ve figured out your user ID, you might notice how close you were to getting a book this time. Maybe you’re number 6!

There’s probably a much easier way to do this, but that’s the system I’ve been using.

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10 Comments Post New »

  1. -b. wrote on at October 31, 2010 8:16 am:

    Hey folks, just want to throw out a quick congrats to the 5 winners! That’s awesome. Also, to those 5 winners, enjoy your new found connection to Heavy Ink!

    Ian, I was thinking, perhaps it would be easier for you to use a site like http://www.random.org and their list randomizer. It’s a free service. In fact, they have a ton of free randomizer services. I use them all the time in my fantasy sports sites to draw up a random draft order.

    You may want to check them out.

    Anyway, congrats again to the winners!



    Ian replied on October 31st, 2010 at 9:05 am:

    Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out and see if it goes quicker!


    Ian replied on October 31st, 2010 at 9:09 am:

    It works pretty well! I probably would use it if I hadn’t already figured out how to do it in excel, haha. They take the same amount of time really (the only thing that takes any time is putting the user ids in) and with excel I can save the file so I don’t have to copy and paste the order in anywhere. Which means I have a record of who sixth place is if fifth bows out.

    Great link though. Of course there would be an online randomizer out there – I should have known! I’ll check out some of the other services later.


  2. Marc wrote on at November 1, 2010 1:45 pm:

    Thanks for the free book, Ian! I’ve been meaning to get Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow for a while, so this is an awesome surprise. :)


    Ian replied on November 1st, 2010 at 2:49 pm:

    No problem, Marc! I’m glad you were one of the random winners. You’ve been a great friend to the site.

    And remember, if there’s any time you want to re-syndicate or archive one of your past reviews (or you have a new one!) over here, I’d be proud to have em.


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