An 11-year-old boy discovered a loophole in a PC hardware provider's lottery system that allowed him to walk away with a highly sought-after top-end graphics card.
At RRP, Nvidia's 30-series graphics cards run from $329 for a 3060 card all the way up to $1500 for a 3090. However, a number of factors - from a global parts shortage to the rise of the cryptocurrency market - have driven up demand, making it extremely difficult to secure the hardware at a reasonable price. To keep things fair and ward off would-be scalpers, retailer Newegg uses a lottery system that offers winners the opportunity to buy one of the cards.
However, as spotted by PCMag (opens in new tab) (via PCGamer (opens in new tab)), the boy and his father, Ricardo Santana, discovered a workaround that would allow them to avoid the lottery system and acquire a card directly. Using Newegg's 'Build your PC' feature, customers can pick their own components, which then show up in their carts. Santana and his son then deleted the parts they didn't need, leaving them with their graphics card.
Newegg has now closed the loophole, stating that the workaround "only sold a small number of graphics cards." Given that the lotteries are said to attract over 100,000 entrants, it looks like the issue is a minor one, but Santana says that he considered snapping up a few more cards while he had the chance, telling PCMag that "I thought about purchasing more but don't want to abuse it and would like to give other people the opportunity."
PC players aren't the only ones struggling to get their hands on new technology. The PS5 and Xbox Series X have been available since last year, but both Sony and Microsoft have struggled to keep up with demand, leading to stock selling out extremely quickly. Unfortunately, manufacturers suggest that those shortages are likely to continue until next year as supply fails to match demand.