A British IT manager has solved one of the most enduring mysteries in cinema by figuring out the fate of the gang at the end of the Italian job.
The classic film, starring Sir Michael Caine, ends with the gold-laden bus hanging precariously over a cliff and the famous line: ""Hang on a minute lads - I've got a great idea."
Until now, viewers were in the dark about how Charlie Croker, played by Sir Michael, and his gang could have gotten the stash of stolen gold off the bus.
But John Godwin, 39, from Godalming, Surrey, has come up with a rescue scenario so plausible that it has won him a prize.
He beat 2,000 other entrants in a competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry to work out how the gang could retrieve the gold and save themselves in a time limit of 30 minutes.
The ideas had to be based on scientific principles, proved mathematically, and could not involve a helicopter or other flying apparatus.
Mr Godwins strategy involves redistributing weight by knocking out windows, draining the fuel tank, and loading extra rocks on to the front of the bus.
With various windows broken, a member of the team could be lowered to let the air out of the front tyres to make the coach more stable.
Croker could then have used an access panel to get to the fuel tank, near the rear of the vehicle, and remove its drainage plug.
One man could then safely leave the coach, and pass rocks in to weigh the vehicle down at the front. The gold could then be moved to the front and taken off.
But after that highly complex manoeuvre, what do the gang do with a stash of stolen gold on the side of an Alpine road?
"Separate problem I suppose, Mr Godwin wrote in his entry.
"Waiting for a passing motorist and either hijacking (feels quite bad) or buying their vehicle with stolen gold (still feels bad, but less damage and no blood) would see the men on their way to Switzerland..."
Mr Godwins plan wins him a three-day holiday in the city of Turin the scene of the heist in the movie.
The RSC judges praised the entry for its practicality and scientific savvy.
"Mr Godwin's entry is just the kind of practical thinking Croker would have used - but he ably demonstrates the science behind the idea as well, " Dr Pike, one of the judges said.