Thursday, October 18, 2012

No Chance

Dear Roundy's Corporation,

I'd just like you to know that I will no longer be playing your Monopoly game.  Every year you draw me in with promises of a chance to win a Dream Home, Harley Davidson Motorcycles and cold hard cash.  However, it turns out that you have no interest in actually giving away any of those prizes.  How else to explain no one winning the top prizes in your contest for the last two years?

Actually, I can explain how nobody wins--using Paul Ryan's best friend: basic math.

You print a reported 1.5 million game pieces for distribution in your stores.  Of those, there is one winning ticket for the house, two for the bikes and a couple for the big cash.  OK, a one in 1.5 million chance of winning is acceptable--certainly better than winning that amount in Powerball.  But where you guarantee that no one is going to win is by making another of the necessary pieces nearly as rare.  That moves the odds of a winner collecting both from 1.5 million to 575-BILLION to one!  To put that into perspective, Your odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball is 1 in 157-million--or about 3,662-times more likely than winning your contest.  You are more likely to get hit by lightning 10-TIMES IN A SINGLE YEAR than you are of winning the Roundy's Monopoly game. 

What I also find "interesting" is that my wife and I keep getting the same 8 or 12 pieces at the stores here in Oshkosh--while my parents in Eagle River get a different set of 8 or 12 pieces at their store up there.  And even when we pool our pieces--we still don't get close to winning anything.  It almost makes you think you have to shop regularly at every one of your stores to get a chance at landing a few different pieces.

Your response is classic "legalese"--pointing out that your responsibility is only to hand out all of the printed tickets within the contest period.  And that the rules printing in size 1 font point out that not all prizes will be claimed.  But just one-third--all of them smaller prizes--in two years of game play?  Why even bother? 

So the next time you roll out this contest, don't bother having the cashiers ask me if I want my pieces.  It's obviously not worth our time.

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