Google +1 Button Shows Zero (0) Count When Not Logged Into Google Account

I had a situation that my boss pointed out yesterday that was very confusing.

He was on a competitor’s website and their +1 button was showing a count. However, the same product on our website was showing 0. I knew that I had +1’d it.

So I go to my machine and I see (3) +1’s. I logout of Google and sure enough the 3 went away. ?!?!?!?

I was so confused that I went as far as copying the +1 code from the competitor’s site and theirs showed a number and ours still did not until I logged in. My mind was boggled.

Next step: ask another person in the office to create a Google Profile and +1 our product. Bringing our +1’s up to 4. There you have it, it showed whether I was logged in or out of Google.

I hope this save someone else time from searching hours for an answer. It was ridiculously confusing. Why is 4 the magic number?