£1m for man who solved 'eternal' puzzle

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The Independent Online

An unemployed mathematician yesterday received a £1m prize for solving the Eternity puzzle almost two years before the game's creator expected anyone to crack it.

An unemployed mathematician yesterday received a £1m prize for solving the Eternity puzzle almost two years before the game's creator expected anyone to crack it.

The speed with which Alex Selby completed the 209-piece jigsaw - it took him seven months - has forced Christopher Monckton, the man behind the game, to sell his £1.5m home in Aberdeenshire.

Mr Monckton was convinced it would be at least three years before anyone had solved Eternity, by which time he would have made more than enough to cover half the prize money, with the rest coming from an insurance policy.

Mr Selby, 32, of Cambridge, worked on the puzzle with help from former colleague Oliver Riordan, 28, who is one of the world's top mathematicians.

Mr Selby, who lives in a rented house, said: "When I saw on the internet that quite a few guys had 200-plus pieces I felt fairly confident Eternity could be solved."

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