Did it work? It did for me, at least the first time. Many studies have proven the human brain tries to become more efficient by taking shortcuts. When reading words is so deep-rooted inside ones brain, it sees the second ‘the’ but decides to ignore it, considering it unnecessary.When reading quickly your brain goes into the process of pattern recognition, which is how speed reading works.
This is natural to how our brains work. If you did however notice the double ‘the’ from the very first time. Your brain is not perceiving clumps of visual patterns but rather reading through every single letter and word as you go. This is not really a bad or good thing, it just depends on what way you look at it.