PixelMaps Secret Tile — a 2016 Bug, or Feature?

Adam McBride
2 min readAug 30, 2021


Screengrab of http://pixelmap.io/ August 30, 2021

“This should be easy,” I thought to myself.

One of my Twitter followers who had recently purchased a tile during the PixelMap relaunch asked me this question:

So you say there are 3,970 tiles in total, but there are 81 columns and 49 rows, which equals 3,969. Which is correct?

I thought that he had made a simple calculation mistake 81 x 49 should equal 3,970 — my original total — and the one that is listed right there in the smart contract.

Tile #3,969 and its corresponding owner

Sure it says 3,969, but maybe he wasn’t taking into account that the first tile is numbered zero (0). This is always confusing to NFT newbies and makes the full count totals not line up with the NFT numbers. So number 0 is tile 1, number 1 is tile 2, etc.

So I got out my phone, opened the calculator app, and punched 81 x 49 = …. 3,969.


The contract has 3,970 tiles but the map only has space for 3,969. So there’s a hidden tile somewhere.

The Secret Tile

When I asked the project's founder Ken Erwin I got “that’s strange, let me have a look.”

Then 5 minutes later we had our answer:

“my math in 2016 was a fail.” — Ken

So the map included all tiles from 0 to 3,968 equaling 3,969 total tiles.

But that last tile — number #3,969 — is not on the map but is there in the contract. It exists. And it has likely just become the most valuable tile in the project.

The Lucky Owner

Clicking on the link to the owner of tile #3,969 a smile comes across my face.

The owner is none other than Daryl Morey, president of the Philadelphia 76'ers, NFT uber collector, and all-around great dude.

I haven't yet spoken with him about what compelled him to purchase the tile directly from the contract for 2 ETH — what many, including myself — thought was too expensive during the rediscovery launch. But my gut says that he figured the first and last pieces in any collection usually hold special value.

He couldn’t have been more right.



Adam McBride

Passionate about humans, freedom, and how crypto empowers both.