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Contest winner announced

October 3, 2012 - John Mehno
The Pirates ended the season with a 4-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves, making their final record 79-83.

That also makes Ralph Weakland the winner of the annual Guess How Many Games The Pirates Will Win contest. If the name seems familiar, it should. Contest historians will note that Ralph was also the winner in 2008. He is the first two-time winner, which means friends and family members will probably start calling him "Dynasty."

His forecast was filed at 9:19 p.m. on April 4. The newly-instituted tiebreaker was required to settle the issue. Ralph was one of four entrants to predict 79 victories, but his guess for the total number of Pirates home runs (143) was the closest to the actual figure of 170, one short of the team record set in 1999.

Ralph wins a box of leftover promotional stuff, so anyone who may be trick or treating on his block later this month should consider themselves forewarned.

Honorable mention (but no prize) to the other entrants who picked 79: Tom Harpster, Andy McGowan and Michael Connor. Tom guessed 137 home runs, Andy projected 124 and Michael didn't offer a guess, thus taking himself out of the tiebreaker phase. Let that be a lesson to future entrants: Attention to detail matters.

Guesses on the number of games won ranged from a low of 62 to a high of 91. Virtually all numbers in between were also taken. The most popular numbers were 78, 79, and 81.

Thanks to everyone who played, and I hope we can do it again in late March, 2013.

(Ralph, sit tight until I find an empty box and enough spare change for postage).

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