Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who wants to be a thousandaire?

A groovy announcement went out today, confirming the prize money distribution for this year's World Memory Championship:

The 2010 World Memory Champion will receive US$20,000. Silver Medallist receives US$10,000 and Bronze Medallist, US$ 6,000
Tee 4th to 10th place competitors will each receive US$2,000.
In addition, each of the ten memory disciplines attracts further prizes. Gold US$ 2,000 Silver US$ 1,200 and Bronze US$1,000
The top three competitors in the 2009 World Memory Championships in London have already won free flights and a luxury hotel suite for the week of the competition. The 4th to 10th placed winners in 2009 also receive free hotel accommodation.

This is pretty awesome, obviously, and it's already nearly the end of March and the arrangements don't seem to have changed at all since they were announced last year - this is almost certainly a good sign. There have only been, what, two world championships that have been cancelled and rearranged at short notice later in the day than this, and this one sounds like it's got a lot of enthusiastic people involved. I'll still reiterate my usual advice not to book your tickets yet, but I think we've got good reason to be excited about it now (also, don't leave it till the very last minute, people - you need to apply for a visa at least a month in advance).

As for the prize distribution, it's nice. I like the big amounts going to the top three in each discipline - that'll give a lot of people a decent share of the cash, rather than it all going to one or two competitors. If we'd had these prizes last year, actually, just eleven people would have shared the prize money between them (everyone getting $3000 or more), but I think this year might be even more closely contested, and there might be more people taking home big wheelbarrowsful of cash.

It would have been nice to see some cash prizes for the juniors and kids competitions too, and I would still be very happy to swap my 'luxury hotel suite' for a normal cheap room and have the extra money put to some more practical use, but hey, if there are people out there who are prepared to give us ninety-two thousand dollars just for remembering a few numbers, I really shouldn't complain. I'm not going to say another word on the subject that isn't glowing and positive. Starting now. Unless the organisers have another falling-out and cancel it. Right, properly starting now. I love these people, really.

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