Antelope Valley College business professor David. L. Adams of Quartz Hill came within two digits of guessing the correct number of acorns in the Kiwanis Club of Tehachapi Acorn Scramble jar. His guess of 1,412 was close enough to win half the summer fundraising kitty of $795.
The number of acorns in the 16-inch-high decorator candle jar was 1,414.
“Wow. I am surprised,” Adams said. “It was just a random guess.”
He had visited the Tehachapi Main Street Farmers Market on July 30, where he paid $1 to enter his guess.
Over the course of 15 Farmers Market days, Kiwanis sold 668 guesses at $1 each. Generous donors to the club and Kiwanis-sponsored Scouts BSA Troop 136 added to the total.
Fifty percent of the total was to go to the estimate winner, 25 percent to the Scout troop and 25 percent to the Kiwanis Club of Tehachapi.
Adams gave $100 back to the Kiwanis Club, which in turn donated the $100 to Troop 136 in honor of a U.S. Army soldier who stopped by the Kiwanis booth to pay for a guess on Sept. 24. The soldier was about to be deployed to Kuwait, and said that if he won, to give it to the Scouts.
Adams has two children who are Scouts — son Kolbe, 13, and daughter Alexis, 11.
The next closest guess was 1,411. That guesser had originally written down 1,412, which would have tied the winning estimate, but he crossed it out and wrote 1,411. The next closest guesses were 1,405, 1,398 and 1,426.
The range of the 669 guesses was from 12 to 1 billion — both of those outliers from young children.
Most of the entries were too low, with clusters in the 200 to 600 range. The largest cluster of guesses was 85 in the 401 to 500 column.
Visitors to the Kiwanis booth made 20 guesses in the 1,401 to 1,500 range in which the winning number appears, or .03 percent of the total guesses.
Removing the outliers of all guesses of less than 100 and more than 4,000, the average (mean) guess of the 652 total guesses was 834.
Kiwanis is an international service club that helps and supports children of the world. For information on the Kiwanis Club of Tehachapi, call President Tina Cunningham, 661-822-4515. The Kiwanis Club thanks Main Street Tehachapi and city of Tehachapi for keeping the Farmers Market open during the summer and fall and for the opportunity to set up the “Acorn Scramble” booth.
Tina Cunningham is the interim president for Tehachapi's Kiwanis Club.