Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 3 Episode 2

The Mail Order Prophet

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Oct 13, 1957 on CBS

Episode Recap

Ronald Grimes, a Wall Street broker unhappy with his robotic job, receives a letter from a mysterious Mr. Christianai, who says he can predict the future. The letter correctly predicts the outcome of an upcoming election, in which the underdog wins. More letters follow and through gambling, Grimes acquires a large amount of money. A final letter from Christianai asks for a contribution. Warned by his co-worker, George, that no one can predict the future and that all of this has been sheer luck, Grimes ignores better judgment and sends the money to a post office box. Later George investigates the mysterious Mr. Christianai and finds out that he was a fraud. He was really a con man who sent out thousands of letters, half of them predicting one kind of outcome, and the other half predicting another. Using the law of percentages, Christianai was still able to give enough people correct odds that he could scam them for their money, which ranged from $200 TO $600. Grimes just happened to be the one person who was given every single prediction right - and his substantial gamble on the last stock market tip landed him over a hundred grand. George is pressed by the police to get in touch with Grimes about his being scammed - but Grimes is unreachable - living the life he always wanted in the tropics.