I know something about $327.68 Knuth reward check. However, I cannot find a comprehensive list of people rewarded for finding errors in TeX. I do know, that among them is Bogusław Jackowski (Twice, for TeX and METAFONT. In late 70's in Poland an annual salary was about the value of the "big" check). Marek Ryćko and Piotr Strzelczyk obtained "small" checks.

Any piece of information about other people, any source (well... not Wikipedia), any additional information would be very interesting for me.

Some of SX users are winners of Knuth's checks. Their knowledge may be invaluable.

  • 5
    A partial list of people rewarded is available at www-cs-staff.stanford.edu/~knuth/address.html
    – user13907
    Apr 25 '13 at 1:19
  • @PrzemyslawScherwentke just now you have edited your question adding (well... not Wikipedia). Please, should I delete my answer?
    – user13907
    Apr 25 '13 at 19:00
  • @Papiro No, you shouldn't. The answer is, as we can see, valuable for others. However I had earlier known all sources, given in comments or in your answer. Apr 25 '13 at 19:04
  • i'm not sure it's possible for anyone but knuth to compile such a list. as "tex entomologist", i have files on the reports since just before 1990, but i don't have all the records for who received checks in what amount. some of this information has been reported in knuth's periodic "tuneup" reports in tugboat. the most recent, in issue 35:1 (2014) reported that oleg bulatov found what knuth hopes is "the final bug" in tex; unfortunately, owing to the delay since the report was received, the address oleg had used was no longer valid -- if anyone knows his whereabouts, please let me know! Dec 21 '14 at 17:33
  • @Papiro -- the list you cite includes people who have found glitches in *the art of computer programming"; i don't recognize any of those names as being for people who reported tex bugs. see my previous comment. Dec 21 '14 at 17:36

As a bit of history: Don told me at one point that he did chose Wells Fargo Bank for this because they had such nice checks at the time (with a carriage drawn by four horses - see picture) and that he therefore hoped most people would put the checks on the wall rather than cashing them:

enter image description here

These days I think they are no longer that beautiful, but I haven't seen one in the last years.

  • 15
    Words cannot express the awesomeness. Wow! :) May 11 '13 at 0:47
  • 3
    omigosh! that's a duane bibby drawing i've never seen! (i think it's a terrible way to treat our favorite lion.) Dec 21 '14 at 17:12
  • @barbarabeeton that's as far as I know one that Duane made privatly for Leslie but Leslie decided not to be so brutal as to put it into the LaTeX manual :-) Dec 21 '14 at 21:01

The TeX error log lists the people who have reported bugs that resulted in changes to TeX the program. I assume they all have cheques


or just use the command

texdoc errorlog

in TeX Live at least.

  • 35
    This file is entertaining reading, too. "14 Mar 1978: (Came in evening after sleeping most of day, to get computer at better time.)//(Some day we will have personal computers and will live more normally.)"
    – Ryan Reich
    Apr 28 '13 at 22:42
  • @RyanReich TeX is designed for a different era:-) Apr 28 '13 at 22:43
  • 10
    Direct link to pdf of the error log.
    – enderland
    Apr 29 '13 at 1:20
  • 4
    @PrzemysławScherwentke it seems that a number of names are abbreviated ... couldn't find my name at all until I realized that it was reduced to two letters :-). On the other hand TeX is one of the programs with the lowest number of bugs whatsoever, you really had to come up with weird scenarios to make it trip, as a result there aren't that many different people who found bugs (compared to finding typos in his books). May 1 '13 at 6:43
  • 1
    @FrankMittelbach: The file errorlog.tex is meant as an appendix to Knuth's paper 'The Errors of \TeX' (Chapter 10 in his book 'Literate Programming'). Chapter 11 is the error log; it contains an introduction that is not part of errorlog.tex. There the abbreviations are explained: DRF stands for David Fuchs, ARK for Arthur Keller. The used abbreviations are also stated at the end of errorlog.tex after the \bye. All names with the remark ``added subsequent to publication of paper'' are listed in Chapter 11 too. Apr 23 '17 at 11:33

From Wikipedia:

According to an article in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review, these rewards have been described as "among computerdom's most prized trophies". As of October 2001, Knuth reports having written more than 2,000 checks, with an average value exceeding $8 per check. As of March 2005, the total value of the checks signed by Knuth was over $20,000 (see NPR interview below). Very few of these checks are actually cashed, however, even the largest ones. More often they are framed or kept as "bragging rights".

"Intelligence: Finding an error in a Knuth text. Stupidity: Cashing that $2.56 check you got.” —Seen in a Slashdot signature, quoted by Edward O'Connor

EDIT: A list of people who have reported errors in Knuth's books from the beginning of 2006 to 9 March 2013 is available here.

EDIT: +1 :)

Dear Reader: Enclosed is a check for ninety-eight cents. Using your work, I have proven that this equals the amount you requested.


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