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11-year-old snags Nvidia RTX 3090 from Newegg via sneaky loophole

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Finding where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 or any new graphics card over the past eight months has been a nightmare, even with lottery systems used to keep scalers at bay. 

But with a little help from his father, an 11-year-old boy from Florida managed to find a workaround to the Newegg Shuffle lottery system and nab the coveted Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. The loophole involved taking advantage of the retailer’s custom made-to-order PC service, but before you rush to use it, Newegg has fixed the flaw.  

Usually, such lottery systems give hungry GPU buyers the opportunity to buy highly sought after graphics cards while keeping scalpers and bots at bay. But the chances of getting a card this way are slim. On Newegg's website if you try to select a standalone Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series graphics card you're informed that you need to opt into the lottery system. 

You can apparently buy the graphics cards as part of a bundle with other PC parts, which some might not need. 

However, PCMag reported that the Floridian kid used the PC builder service in Newegg’s mobile app to select a GeForce RTX 3090 and add it to the cart without the need to buy a bundle or custom PC. 

Furthermore, the app didn’t put any limits to how many cards one could buy, at least when PCMag tried it. This loophole has been shut by Newegg, with the retailer even thanking the kid for finding the bug. 

It’s gratifying to hear of someone managing to get one of the most powerful GeForce graphics cards without paying scalper prices. But it also highlights the absurdity of the stock situation around desirable GPUs. While we regularly check restocks of other major Nvidia GPUs, we rarely see them in stock. 

When the RTX 30 series cards launched last year, high demand and scalpers saw them quickly sold out. But there's also a shortage of semiconductors caused by COVID-19 disruption to supply chains, which has had a knock-on effect of causing a chip shortage that’s made it very difficult getting new GPU stock or spotting PS5 restock or Xbox Series X restock

It's unlikely that this situation will change. And we would hazard a guess that it may be 2022 before it becomes easier to find where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, PS5, Xbox Series X and other highly-desirable tech. 

  • More: Here's what we know about AMD Zen 4 so far 
Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.