When Randy Olsen — a PhD candidate focusing on biologically-inspired artificial intelligence and evolutionary processes — had a weekend off he didn't spend it playing video games. He decided to do something useful. He used his knowledge of artificial intelligence and computational strategies to create the absolute optimum strategy for finding Wally.
This man is a saint.
What did he find? Well, to begin with he discovered that Wally actually tends to be hidden in certain spots more than others. For example, he's rarely in the top left hand of the double-page. He is, in fact, more likely to be in the bottom left hand corner of the left page, or the top left hand corner of the right page.
Using this information, Olsen went about trying to create the absolute optimum search path for Wally. He did this using some seriously technical search path optimisation tools.
But for the layman, here are Olsen's general tips for finding Wally in the quickest time possible, in his words:
1. The bottom of the left page is a good place to start. If Waldo isn’t on the bottom half of the left page, then he’s probably not on the left page at all.
2. The upper quarter of the right page is the next best place to look. Waldo seems to prefer to hide on the upper quarter of the right page.
3. Next check the bottom right half of the right page. Waldo also has an aversion to the bottom left half of the right page. Don’t bother looking there until you’ve exhausted the other hot spots.
If you can't find Wally in these spots, your best best is to check the middle of the page or the top left and right as you might have an outlier.
You can read more about Olsen's research here. Warning: Olsen is American. In America they call Wally 'Waldo'. WEIRDOS!