(Newport Beach, California) - Richard Bond, an employee of Lelands, Inc. of Seaford, New York, won the first-ever PSA World Series of Autograph Authentication. He received the winner-take-all $2,500 prize - and a year of bragging rights, according to PSA President Joe Orlando.
The computerized test of knowledge and skill about autographs was conducted during the 26th annual National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Illinois, July 27 - 31, 2005.
"Thank you, PSA, for coming up with such a fun and challenging competition, one that showed just how difficult it is to authenticate autographs," said Bond. "Naturally, the $2,500 prize is super, but it really pales in comparison to finishing number one in such a prestigious contest."
"Richard scored 23 correct answers out of 30, which gave him the title," said Orlando. "Richard was one of just two contestants to score over 18 out of 30. It was interesting because several very experienced people took the test, and even if you flipped a coin to have a 50-50 chance to get the answer correct, most of the scores hovered right around 50 percent. This demonstrates just how difficult autograph authentication really is, and underscores the reason why you should always consult a recognized expert."
The contest provided collectors and dealers with a chance to put their forgery detection skills to the test, and compete against the best collectors and dealers at The National. The contestants had to consider a combination of genuine and counterfeit autographs of major names in sports, vintage and modern."
Each contestant had 10 minutes to examine 30 autographs on a computer screen and determine their authenticity by casting a "genuine" or "not genuine" vote. Following the initial group of 30 questions, there also was a lightning round consisting of 10 questions. Each contestant had two minutes to complete that portion of the competition. Results of the lightning round were to be used as a tie-breaker in case there were tie scores after Round One.
"I want all sports autograph collectors and enthusiasts to know that the week at The National was very special to me in so many ways," said Bond. "First, I won the World Series of Autograph Authentication, and second, my decision to return to Lelands.com after a seven-year hiatus with the firm. My sincere thanks to Joe and everyone else at PSA and PSA/DNA!"
Although there was only one, winner-take-all prize, every contestant received a T-shirt commemorating the PSA World Series of Autograph Authentication.
PSA is a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).