Author Topic: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?  (Read 3371 times)

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wolfie

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 08:13:46 PM »

Your story reminded me of one I was told by my then BFF.  She worked for one of the really big makers of stereos (among other things), and they were holding a contest that had been advertised in teen magazines.  The winner would've been profiled in the magazine and also would win some neat prize like one of their fancy-schmancy home stereos (this was way before things like iPods or, even, portable personal CD players).  BFF was the one to reach into the container holding all the entries to pull out the winning entry.  She dug around and came out with one that made her cackle with amusement.  The entry was not from some teen girl but a middle-aged guy (I think the entrant's age was included on the entry), and the entry appeared to be handwritten on what looked like cardboard cut out from a cereal box.  BFF envisioned with delight how dismayed the higher-ups would be to have to award the prizes to this guy...and then...

Her supervisor made her toss aside the entry and pull another one.  Yup, they decided he wasn't worthy so they pulled another entry that did end up having an acceptable teen girl as the entrant.


I wouldn't be that quick to say the company acted unethically. If the rules stated you had to be between the ages of 16 and 18 to win and female and blah blah then his entry was ineligible and a new one should have been picked. I would expect that a big contest like that would have put things into the rules to ensure that a suitably photogenic winner was picked.

o_gal

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2013, 08:41:53 AM »
I remember some contest that was going on with scratch and win cards (one of those "every card is a possible winner," things, depending on which squares you scratched) when I was taking chemistry classes. One student figured out how to always get the free coffee/donut/whatever by using the lab's ultraviolet light, which made the symbols underneath glow faintly.

I read an article awhile back about a mathematician who figured out a pattern that gave you great odds on winning serious money from a certain scratch-ticket. He reported it to the lottery people but had to jump through some serious hoops to get them to take him seriously. If I recall correctly he eventually sent a bunch of unscratched tickets to the head of the lottery commission by registered mail with a note saying "These are big winners, these are not," and he was right. They changed the way they printed the tickets.

The article mentioned that another state that used the same system in the past had experienced a customer who had won several big prizes, possibly including the grand prize. Said customer was a mathematician who could not be reached for comment.

I don't even think that's unethical. It might be illegal, in the same way that counting cards (which is to say, using math) is illegal in Vegas, but illegal is a far cry from unethical.

And along those lines, the guy who won big on Press Your Luck by memorizing the light patterns: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Larson

camlan

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2013, 09:15:41 AM »
Not a contest, but along those lines, there used to be a game show in the US, I have completely forgotten the name, but the daily winner not only got prizes and money, but they were given a key that would start one of 5 cars. They just had to guess which car it would be that day. If they didn't guess the right car, they could come back the following day. If they got the right car and it started, their turn on the show was over, because they had won the grand prize.

One time there was a contest who won five days in a row. Every day, he guessed wrong about the car. So on Friday, when he won for the 5th time, the host handed him the key, but told him that because he had been so successful on the show, he could pick whichever car he wanted and drive it home.

I remember thinking that was a nice thing for the show to do. Looking back, they may have done it just to get him off the show and get a new contestant in the following week. But still, even my mom, who didn't watch much TV at all, was cheering for the guy at the end, and I can remember her commenting that the show did the right thing in letting him take whatever car he wanted.
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Shalamar

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2013, 09:57:18 AM »
I remember reading about a guy who was on The Price is Right and got to play the Punch Card game.  For those who don't know, you have to win chances to punch out holes on a board, and in each hole is a card with a cash prize amount on it.  (I think you could win up to five chances.)  Most of the cards said "$100" or some other small amount.  There were (I think) two cards with $5,000, and one card with $10,000, which was the highest prize. 

You punched all the holes you were entitled to, and then Bob Barker would pull out the cards in the order you'd punched them.  You'd have the option to either keep the amount on the card, in which case the game was over, or go on to to the next card - taking the risk that the next card would be for a smaller amount.

Anyway, this guy got a card that said $5,000.  The crowd went nuts, and Bob was all "Okay, so you're going to keep that and end the game, obviously."  The guy said NO, and then the crowd REALLY went bonkers!  Bob was like "You're kidding.  You're giving up five grand on the off chance that you MIGHT get the ten thousand bucks?  Are you crazy?"  But he had to do what the contestant wanted, and .... the next card said $10,000.  Cue pandemonium.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen the film on YouTube.  And the weirdest part is, the guy looked very calm and matter-of-fact, like he KNEW that the $10,000 was waiting for him on the next card. 

rose red

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 10:15:50 AM »
In the last game of the day at the game show Wheel of Fortune, a single contestant spins a little wheel for a prize card and then try to guess the final puzzle to win that prize.  The puzzle never pops up until the little wheel is spun.  My family has a theory that if they land on the $100k slot, they pick a really hard puzzle with words that has uncommon letters.

Again, that's only a theory and even if it's true, they are technically doing nothing wrong.

SoCalVal

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 02:48:41 PM »

Your story reminded me of one I was told by my then BFF.  She worked for one of the really big makers of stereos (among other things), and they were holding a contest that had been advertised in teen magazines.  The winner would've been profiled in the magazine and also would win some neat prize like one of their fancy-schmancy home stereos (this was way before things like iPods or, even, portable personal CD players).  BFF was the one to reach into the container holding all the entries to pull out the winning entry.  She dug around and came out with one that made her cackle with amusement.  The entry was not from some teen girl but a middle-aged guy (I think the entrant's age was included on the entry), and the entry appeared to be handwritten on what looked like cardboard cut out from a cereal box.  BFF envisioned with delight how dismayed the higher-ups would be to have to award the prizes to this guy...and then...

Her supervisor made her toss aside the entry and pull another one.  Yup, they decided he wasn't worthy so they pulled another entry that did end up having an acceptable teen girl as the entrant.


I wouldn't be that quick to say the company acted unethically. If the rules stated you had to be between the ages of 16 and 18 to win and female and blah blah then his entry was ineligible and a new one should have been picked. I would expect that a big contest like that would have put things into the rules to ensure that a suitably photogenic winner was picked.

There was no age limit; the contest was open to everyone (I asked when ex-BFF told me the story).



SoCalVal

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2013, 03:01:46 PM »
Not a contest, but along those lines, there used to be a game show in the US, I have completely forgotten the name, but the daily winner not only got prizes and money, but they were given a key that would start one of 5 cars. They just had to guess which car it would be that day. If they didn't guess the right car, they could come back the following day. If they got the right car and it started, their turn on the show was over, because they had won the grand prize.

One time there was a contest who won five days in a row. Every day, he guessed wrong about the car. So on Friday, when he won for the 5th time, the host handed him the key, but told him that because he had been so successful on the show, he could pick whichever car he wanted and drive it home.

I remember thinking that was a nice thing for the show to do. Looking back, they may have done it just to get him off the show and get a new contestant in the following week. But still, even my mom, who didn't watch much TV at all, was cheering for the guy at the end, and I can remember her commenting that the show did the right thing in letting him take whatever car he wanted.

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Elfmama

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 10:19:44 PM »
I remember reading a news story many years back about a radio (?) contest where a car was being given away.  Somewhere along the line a mistake happened and instead of a single winning card (or whatever) being printed, there were several printed.  Winner #1 claimed his car, but when Winners 2-5 tried to claim theirs, the radio station said it had already been claimed, so sad, tough cookies.  There was a lawsuit (because this IS the US!) and the courts said that the radio station had to live up to the terms of the contest. 
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JadeAngel

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 11:00:03 PM »
I saw one recently, I think it was on Failbook, where a jewelry company had held a promotion where you could win an expensive piece of jewelry. They announced the winner on Facebook with a photo of her receiving the prize, and the winner wrote back, a short speech thanking them for the prize and expressing how excited she was to have won it. A third party then wrote a post congratulating the winner on her prize and asked her how she had won, as the third party had entered the competition but obviously not been successful.

The 'winner' responded that it was just luck. Unfortunately she responded using the store's Facebook account and not her own personal account, and it soon became pretty clear that the competition had been rigged and the prize had been awarded to someone connected to the store (who probably had her picture taken with the jewelry and then handed it right back so the store could still sell it and not be out for the cost of it)

The post, page and all references to the competition were apparently taken down, but not before someone got a screen capture. 

CakeBeret

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 11:13:49 PM »
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hyzenthlay

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Re: Roll Up the Rim Urban Legends?
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 11:49:34 PM »
I don't even think that's unethical. It might be illegal, in the same way that counting cards (which is to say, using math) is illegal in Vegas, but illegal is a far cry from unethical.

Card Counting is not illegal, provided you do it all in your head. It's only using a device to count for you which is actually illegal.

Now that doesn't mean a casino won't ask you to leave if they recognize that you are effectively counting, but it's not illegal. (Most people don't have the focus to count effectively, and Casinos welcome people with 'systems'  ;) )