Tom London

Phone Calculator Trick Revealed

On his audition for the TV Show America's Got Talent, Tom London promised the judges that they are about to see something that was never done before. He started with some dazzling phone magic, where he made the phones of some audience members turn red.

Next, he asked the judges to pick three volunteers with red phones from the crowd, and asked them to come on stage. He asked every volunteer to give him one number guess. First volunteer had to guess how many number 1 selling artists Simon Cowell had on his record label. She guessed »53«. The second volunteer had to guess how many million records Mel B sold. She said »102«. And the third volunteer had to guess in what year Heidi began modelling. Her guess is »1987«.

Tom then asks Tyra to multiply all three numbers on a phone calculator. In addition to that, she should randomly add a 9-digit number to all that, with her eyes closed. When she is done, the end result of the whole calculation is  73, 928, 547.

London then plays a video on the screen. In the video, recorded before the audition, he is shown holding the sign with exact same number! How could he possibly predict it?

But wait, the best is yet to come! It turns out Simon had 47 best-selling artists, Mel B sold 85 million records, Heidi started modelling in '92, and Howie was married to his wife for 37 years!

See this amazing trick for yourself, then read the explanation below.



How did he do it? Did he actually predict what number every member of the audience will guess, and what will be the random numbers that Tyra will type? Quite unlikely, don't you think? So, let's try to look for a more rational explanation of this trick.

The main part of the trick is the fact that everyone believes Tyra is using her own phone. That is not the case. It looks like that because she brings it on stage. However, this phone was actually given to her by Tom before the start of the audition. Since we don't see this happening, we automatically assume that Tyra is using her own phone!

But even if the phone Tyra is using is actually Tom's phone, how exactly does that help him?

Here is the trick: the calculator on Tom's phone has been hacked. It doesn't behave like a normal calculator. It doesn't matter what kind of calculation you try to perform on it, the calculator will always return the same result: 73, 928, 547.

This can be done with very basic knowledge of programming. Remember, Tom London is a self-thought computer programmer!

So it doesn't matter what numbers the audience volunteers guess, or what numbers Tyra types into the calculator. When she presses »=«, the result will always be the number that Tom wants. That's because he programmed the calculator this way. All the number guessing is just misdirection.

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