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Rare Baseball Feat Nets Computer Gamer $1 Million
May 6, 2010

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The odds are against you in most promotions, which is why businesses offer such things as $1 million for a seemingly impossible feat. But some people play anyway, just for the thrill of the chase.

That was certainly the case with Wade McGilberry, who bought a computer baseball game when it first came out and, within a few hours, had scored a million-dollar prize.

McGilberry, who deals in numbers in his job as a records keeper for retirement plans, is a baseball fan, which is why he bought the computer game Major League Baseball 2K10 within minutes of its midnight launch, on March 2. Deep into the early morning, McGilberry had scored the Holy Grail of pitchers everywhere – a perfect game.

In baseball, a pitcher will face a minimum of 27 batters in a game. (That's 9 innings of 3 outs each.) The vast majority of games feature many more than 27 batters, especially because batters usually get on base, by getting a hit or drawing a walk or being hit by a pitch or reaching base on an error. But none of that happened when McGilberry was pitching. His pitcher mowed down 27 batters in a row.

The feat is extremely rare. In more than 100 years of record-keeping in Major League Baseball, in thousands of games, only 18 pitchers have ever thrown a perfect game. It requires not only great skill but a good deal of luck. The odds against such a feat are 90,000-to-1.

So the computer software company, Take-Two, offered the $1 million prize as part of the promotion of its hot new product: the first person to prove having recorded a perfect game would win. It is likely that advertising executives were confident in the long odds against such a thing as the perfect game. However, McGilberry has proof of his feat. He recorded his game.

Take-Two say they'll pay up, which is just fine with McGilberry, 23, and his wife, Katy. They say they'll use the money to pay off their mortgage and start a family.

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