When A Maths Geek Hacked OKCupid, He Landed 88 First Dates And His One True Love

If you’re using OKCupid to help you find true love, and the lack of response from potential mates is depressing, Chris McKinlay’s story should cheer you up.

McKinlay was using OKCupid and other sites for months with no success when it dawned on him that he was doing it wrong, reports Wired’s Kevin Poulsen in an in-depth profile.

OkCupid matches people by asking them to answer 350 questions from a pool of thousands. But, McKinlay realised, that if the 350 questions you answered don’t line up with the 350 questions your soul mate answered, OKCupid will never show your profiles to each other.

So he hacked up a way to find out which questions to answer. This involved setting up fake accounts, scraping questions from thousands of women’s accounts, setting up mathematical models.

This is not ok with OKCupid, by the way. His fake accounts were spotted and banned, Poulsen reports.

But he eluded detection long enough to discover the questions to answer. So he answered them.

And suddenly, OKCupid was showing his profile to 400 women a day.

It wasn’t a recipe for instant love. He first went on an astounding 88 first dates. That included a date with the woman that would become his fiance.

For the engineers among us, Wired goes into great details on the hack. But even if you’re not another McKinlay, his story might help you. If your profile isn’t working, it might not be you. You might simply need to answer different questions.

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