Surprisingly absent-minded

A completely charming excerpt from the ‘People’ section of UK news magazine The Week, discussing Ben Pridmore, current British and past world memory champion:

Ben Pridomore can be surprisingly absent-minded says Adam Lusher in The Sunday Telegraph. The bespectacled accountant from Derby is Britain’s “memory champion” and a world-class mental athlete. He set a new record when he remembered 17 shuffled packs of cards in an hour.

“It was last year at the World Championships”, he recalls. “In London, somewhere in London. Erm, where was it? No it’s gone completely.”

Pridmore does remember that: “I hold all four card-remembering world records, and both binary number records. I think they are the only world records I hold at the moment, although I have quite possibly forgotten a few.

Brazilian TV gave me this wonderful cloak. They flew me to Rio just to memorise a pack of cards. Now, where did I put it…?”

His memory is, he admits, highly selective. “Yes, I have a toned hippocampus, for anything pointless like cards or long numbers. But with useful things, like names, I forget everything. Go into a room and wonder why I’m there? Happens to me all the time.”

Link to Pridmore supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s Million Memories campaign.

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