Monday, September 9, 2013

Denton loses a bet

Back in February of 2011, Nick Denton made a friendly bet with digital consultant and socialite Rex Sorgatz.  The bet was to see whether Gawker's websites could reach 510 million global pageviews during the month of September.  The loser would subsequently pay the winner ten dollars for every million pageviews that Gawker was over/under that mark, and the handover had to be done in public. Gawker ended September slightly under that mark, and Denton paid up.  

Sorgatz used the occasion to renew the bet for another year:
Official terms: We will check Quantcast on October 1, 2012. The goal is 700MM pageviews/month. It’s $10 for every million over/under. (So $1000 to me if it’s 600MM.) Lockhart is the judge...And again, the money handover is to be done in public and photographed.

As the following September rolled along, it became clear Denton would lose the second bet by a much wider margin, and Sorgatz seemed to be licking his chops in anticipation.  But when October arrived, I didn't see any follow-up:  No announcement on Twitter.  No Tumblr post.  No public event with an inebriated Felix Salmon snapping photos.

I remembered the bet recently, and e-mailed Sorgatz to ask what happened. He sent a link to this photograph from his Instagram account which shows, indeed, Nicholas G. A. Denton lost the bet and made a bank transfer for $680.  I asked whether Denton had backed out of signing the check in public.  Sorgatz said that wasn't the case; he just didn't want to gloat upon winning.  And I believe him.

So let it be known that Rex Sorgatz is a magnanimous fellow who doesn't need to brag.


  1. You'd think with all the blatant, pathetic link baiting gawker whores out for clicks, Denton would have had a chance at winning.

    Exhibits a, b, and c:

    1. Well, it's not like any of those stories would've affected what happened last September. By the way, if you're looking for an entertaining rant on Hamilton Nolan, this should hold you over: