Dirty Deeds: How we got the numbers

Pegging a dollar figure to the royalty income of the Win or Lose Corporation and its descendants was not easy.

The State Department of Natural Resources has data from 1970 available online.  There are also some numbers available from 1960-1970, but the accuracy is not verified -- those numbers appear to be a little low.  But prior to 1970, the only documentation comes in large books.

We spent days locked up in a room inside the Department of Natural Resources, going through each book and writing down each royalty payment made to the state for each lease connected to Win or Lose.  We then brought all of that data together, and determined a yearly total.

But we weren't done.  Those yearly totals were for the state's interest in the leases.  For State Lease 340, we then had to convert the numbers to the amount of royalty payments received by Win or Lose and retained by W.T. Burton.  From there, we totaled our dollar figures, which gave us the total amount of money earned by the founders and descendants.

To calculate to today's dollars, we put the yearly dollar figure for each state lease into a Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

This is by no means an exact number.  Many records are old.  With that said, from reviewing these records for months, we believe our calculations are fair and frankly conservative.  There is a good chance Win or Lose and these descendants made even more money than we have reported.