Sunday, November 02, 2008

Good luck winning that one

I was browsing through the Sunday coupons today when I came across a sweepstakes that Birdseye was advertising. "Win a $25,000 kitchen makeover!" it said. Okay, always a sucker for a dollar figure with three zeroes before the comma, I thought I would check it out by going to their website. When I clicked on the registration page, I noticed a field asking for a UPC number. I thought that was odd, because right above it was the line "no purchase necessary". So, if no purchase is necessary, how do I find a UPC number? Funny you should ask. I clicked a handy "help" link which took me to the detailed rules and regulations for this sweepstakes. Here's where it got interesting.

First, the rules clearly stated that no purchase is in fact necessary. That is, instead of purchasing a Birdseye vegetable product you could a)go to the store and jot down the UPC number off a package of frozen peas for later entry into the site, b)send a SASE to Birdseye and they will mail back a UPC number you can use to enter into the site, but only from 12/21/2008 to 12/28/2008 (despite the fact that the sweepstakes is going on NOW) or c)click a special link and enter your email address so they can email you a UPC code for use also during that December time frame. In other words, If you want to enter just buy yourself a friggin' bag of corn. But that's not the REALLY interesting part.

I kept reading, and found out that registering doesn't actually give you a chance of winning. Nor does returning to the site each day, as it recommends you do. Instead, once you register and once you sign in you will...

...then see a screen displaying spinning images that land on three (3) images after a button is clicked. If three (3) of the three (3) images are identical matches, you will receive a message screen indicating that you are a potential Game Prize Winner. In order for your Game Play to result in your being a potential Game Prize Winner, it must have occurred either at the exact randomly predetermined winning time as determined by Sponsor and/or Circle One, or if no Game Play has occurred at the exact randomly predetermined winning time, then it must be the Game Play that occurred at the closest time immediately following the randomly predetermined winning time.

Did you follow that? You must play a random slot-machine style game. If that game shows a match of all three images AND it's the exact randomly-determined time of day during which you are playing, you are a POTENTIAL prize winner. If no one hit it at the right time, then the closest person immediately following the randomly determined time is a potential prize winner.

I always wondered if people actually win these things. Now I know the answer is only the ones with truly nothing better to do in life.

By the way, I do like the actual grand prize. "The Sweepstakes Winner will receive in the form of a Twenty Five Thousand Dollar ($25,000) Gift Card ("Gift Card") to a home improvement store in the Sweepstakes Winner's local area"

I think if I won that, I'd use it during my regular trips to Home Depot to buy screws and nails and such, just so I could repeatedly hear the dude behind the register say, "that'll be two dollars and thirty-eight cents off your gift card, and your balance thousand, nine hundred seventy-eight dollars and thirty-two cents. Can you excuse me while I have the manager check my register?"

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