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$3 Million Health Puzzler Draws to a Close

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 4, 2013

But even though his score is the highest, it's a few points short of the .40 required. Does he think he has a chance of getting the $3 million, or merely the $500,000?

"We have a reasonable chance," he replies, "although nothing can be said with certainty." That's because how each contestant's score would fare against the remaining 70% of the database is anyone's guess. "We do not know whether the subsamples were split on a random basis, or there were other considerations," Sharabiani says.

As the website warns, "The final standings may be different." 

How would he spend the prize money? I asked Sharabiani. "I don't know," he replies. "I hadn't planned to have the money. This was more about being a challenge for me and the money really didn't count."

On April 8, contest organizers will reveal all but the top 10 place holders, and those 10 will be informed privately. During the following eight weeks, their algorithms will be verified.

The winning entry and its $3 million prize—or its $500,000 one, will be announced at Health Datapalooza IV June 3 or 4 in Washington, DC.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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