As our Contest was taking shape in the Fall of
1977 the founders decided that receiving points only based upon the
age of a predicted
Grim Reaper
Victim would not
be sufficient, especially when that
Victim
had only been predicted by a few, or only one,
selector. The concept of
Uniqueness Points was created to award additional points to the
selectors of
Grim Reaper
Victims
that were much less "obvious" to the group of entrants; selections that
showed some hint of careful research and evaluation
(the Pope = "easy,"
Edwin Land = "hard"). For the first two years of the Contest the Uniqueness Points that were awarded were based upon a simple table lookup, with a cutoff after 5 selectors. Starting with the 1980 Contest the basis for Uniqueness Points was redesigned to account for no more than 20% of the maximum value of any individual "bestcase" Kill (a child that had not yet reached it's first birthday, or 12.5 Age Points), for a maximum of 2.5 Uniqueness Points for any given selected Victim. After some discussion it was agreed that Uniqueness Points should be computable by the same formula that computed the regular Age Points that were awarded, and that it should be an everdiminishing amount as the number of selectors grew. A Solo Kill, being worth 2.5 points would be twice as valuable as a Kill that had been shared by two entrants & four times as valuable as a Kill shared by three entrants, and so on, diminishing by half for each additional selector. Since that value could easily be computed by a singlevariable formula, our final scoring formula had been established:
Based upon this formula, the solo prediction of the death of a celebrity's fetus would be worth 15.0000 combined Age + Uniqueness Points (it has already happened once). Another implication of this formula is that the prediction of the demise of a supergeezer (110years or older) would not necessarily be a futile gesture ... the solo prediction of a 128year old individual, while worth negative 0.3000 Age Points, would still garner the full 2.5000 Uniqueness Points, making that prediction worth 2.2000 Age + Uniqueness Points. Of course, with additional selectors come far fewer Uniqueness Points for that successful prediction. Obviously, beyond a certain point (17 or more selectors), the computed Uniqueness Points would round to 0.0000, leaving only the Age Points to matter. So far, over the course of our Contest, all predicted Grim Reaper Victims have scored at least some points for their selectors, even in the case of the most extreme supergeezer with four (or fewer) selectors. Here is a table that shows the computed Uniqueness Point value for a given number of selectors:

page last updated 11/17/2008 