It’s Like Finding the Golden Ticket

UPDATE: Steve F. messaged me and reminded me that in the United States companies are required, by law, to give away all prizes outlined in the official sweepstakes rules. It’s why in the United States they have second chance drawings. If a rare piece isn’t turned in, the company draws from all the second chance entries, that are usually mailed in. In Canada there isn’t the same legal requirement. We must have a No Purchase Entry options to gain entry into the promotion without having to spend money (besides postage!) and answering a Skill Testing Question to claim a prize.

McDonald's Monopoly

In 2005 I wrote these two paragraphs in the 1st Edition of You Can’t Win If You Don’t Enter and it still holds true today:

Seeded sweepstakes are the hardest to win because it involves finding the winning piece in thousands or even millions of product containers (e.g. bottle cap liners, toilet rolls, talking cans, etc.). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (by Roald Dahl) is the most famous, and fictional, example of a seeded sweepstakes. The children had to be lucky enough to find a golden ticket in the chocolate bar packaging to win an invitation to the chocolate factory.

NOTE: There is a difference between collect-to-win and seeded sweepstakes even though both have very rare winning pieces, coupons, notifications, etc. In the collect-to-win you get a game piece(s) with every purchase and you hope you get one of the rare winning pieces. In seeded sweepstakes you do not collect anything. You just hope you are lucky enough to find the winning certificate, notification, etc.

McDonald’s holds an annual collect-to-win contest in 22 countries. From Wikipedia:

The promotion has been offered in the United States, Canada,[1] Australia[2], Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom since 1987. Argentina and Brazil were included in 2013 as well as Ireland in 2016.

As I live in Canada I wanted to know what my odds of finding a rare piece were. A scan of the rules will give all you need to know:

INSTANT WIN PIECES

NOTE: I shortened the clauses for this blog post and highlighted the odds in red.

There are approximately 17,679,163^ Food Prizes available to be won at the outset of the Canadian Game.

The overall Odds of winning a Food Prize as of the outset of the Canadian Game are 1 in 5.46^.
Cheeseburger: 1 in 28^.
Muffin or Mini Pastry: 1 in 28^.
Small Hot McCafé® Beverage: 1 in 29^.
Small Fountain Drink: 1 in 61^.
Medium Fries: 1 in 25^.
Sandwich: 1 in 55^.

There are approximately 1,656,459^ Non-Food “Instant Win” Prizes available to be won at the outset of the Canadian Game.

  1. (i) Five Dollar ($5) Hudson’s Bay Promotional eGift Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 965^.
  2. (ii) Ten Dollar ($10) Hudson’s Bay Promotional eGift Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 4,017^.
  3. (iii) Ten Dollar ($10) McDonald’s® Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 7,713^.
  4. (iv) Hasbro® MONOPOLY® Classic Board Game. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 96,402^.
  5. (v) Esso | Mobil Twenty-Five Dollar ($25) Gift Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 19,281^.
  6. (vi) CanvasPop Twenty-Five Dollar ($25) eGift Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 65^.
  7. (vii) Fifty Dollar ($50) Vanilla® Prepaid MasterCard® Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 160,670^.
  8. (viii) Esso Ι Mobil Fifty Dollar ($50) Gift Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 43,819^.
  9. (ix) Fifty Dollar ($50) McDonald’s® Card. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 64,268^.
  10. (x) Fifty Dollars ($50) Cash. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 16,067^.
  11. (xi) Forza Game Pass Bundle. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 64,268^.
  12. (xii) Skullcandy® Headphones. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 64,268^.
  13. (xiii) Xbox One S Bundle. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 964,016^.
  14. (xiv) 4K Ultra HD Hisense Roku TV. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 964,016^.
  15. (xv) Warner Bros. TV Series Prize Packs. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 401,673^.
  16. (xvi) Air Transat Flight Prize. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 642,677^.
  17. (xvii) CraveTV Bundle. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 9,640,151^.
  18. (xviii) Bloomex Flowers and Gifts. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 4,820,076^.
  19. (xix) Universal Orlando Resort™ “Family Trip”. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 16,066,918^.
  20. (xx) Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000). Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 13,771,644^.
  21. (xxi) “Big Mac® for Life”. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 6,124,000^.
  22. (xxii) “Big Mac® for One Year”. Odds of winning are approximately 1 in 244,960^.

COLLECT-TO-WIN PIECES

The odds for the common pice are 1 in 11. The rare pieces on the other hand …

There are approximately 179^ “Collect and Win” Prizes available to be won at the outset of the Canadian Game.

  1. (i) Collect Rideau Canal (#901) and Parliament Hill (#902) to potentially win a Prize of an Xbox One X Forza Bundle. Odds of collecting Rideau Canal are 1 in 4,820,076^.
  2. (ii) Collect Lake Louise (#903), Mackenzie River (#904) and Lake Athabasca (#905) to potentially win a Prize of a Yamaha® Grizzly® Family ATV Bundle. Odds of collecting Mackenzie River are 1 in 32,133,836^.
  3. (iii) Collect Percé Rock (#906), Miles Canyon (#907) and Columbia Icefield (#908) to potentially win a Prize of a cheque for Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000). Odds of collecting Percé Rock are 1 in 9,640,151^.
  4. (iv) Collect Signal Hill (#909), Peggys Cove (#910) and Tunnels of Moose Jaw (#911) to potentially win a Prize of a Cineplex® Première Card for movies for winner and one (1) guest for one (1) year. Odds of collecting Tunnels of Moose Jaw are 1 in 9,640,151^.
  5. (v) Collect Confederation Bridge (#912), Baffin Island (#913) and Bay of Fundy (#914) to potentially win a Prize of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) in Vanilla® Prepaid MasterCard® cards. Odds of collecting Confederation Bridge are 1 in 19,280,302^.
  6. (vi) Collect Algonquin Provincial Park (#915), Wapusk National Park (#916) and Whistler (#917) to potentially win one (1) Cabela’s® Barbeque Package. Odds of collecting Algonquin Provincial Park or Wapusk National Park are 1 in 11^, the approximate Odds of collecting Whistler are 1 in 1,285,354^.
  7. (vii) Collect Robson Street (#918), Sainte-Catherine Street (#919) and Portage and Memorial (#920) to potentially win a Prize of one (1) Two Thousand Dollar ($2,000) Hudson’s Bay Gift Card. Odds of collecting Portage and Memorial are 1 in 19,280,302^.
  8. (viii) Collect Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (#921) and Niagara Falls (#922) to potentially win a Prize of either Five (5) Million RBC Rewards® points from Royal Bank of Canada or a direct deposit or cheque for Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000). Odds of collecting Fairmont Le Château Frontenac are 1 in 16,066,918^.
  9. (ix) Collect Montréal Airport (#923), Toronto Airport (#924), Halifax Airport (#925) and Vancouver Airport (#926) to potentially win a Prize of an Air Transat “Family Vacation”. Odds of collecting Vancouver Airport are 1 in 4,820,076^.
  10. (x) Collect Sea To Sky Highway (#927) and Route Transcan. Highway (#928) to potentially win a Prize of Esso | Mobil™ “Gas for One Year”. Odds of collecting Route Transcan. Highway are 1 in 3,856,061^.

As you can see, your odds of being hit by lightning are better than finding a rare piece.

The odds of a person being struck are about one in less than a million. According to those odds, you’re more likely to be hit by lightning then win the lottery. Lightning strikes kill or injure an estimated 120 to 190 people each year in Canada.

That said, you might be lucky like Charlie, and find your equivalent of a Golden Ticket.

Do you collect and play?

2018-10-26T15:49:51+00:00October 22nd, 2018|Contesting, Sweepstaking|4 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn
Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.

4 Comments

  1. Steve Fox October 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    You forgot to mention second chance sweepstakes. A second chance sweepstakes is for any unawarded prizes in games or collect and wins. A collect and win or a game is a scam because usually the advertised prize is not won. If there is no second chance sweepstakes, then the company gets to advertise prizes and ultimately gives nothing away.

    Steve Fox
    NY

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn October 24, 2018 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      You are right. I did forget because it’s not top of mind for me. By law in Canada, companies do not have to give away all the prizes. They do in the United States. So yes, they get to advertise for free up here.

  2. Ray November 8, 2018 at 6:53 am - Reply

    Steve F. gave you bad info. Companies in the USA are not required to give away all of the prizes. Most rules, such as in most od the McDonald’s game, say clearly: UNCLAIMED PRIZES WILL NOT BE AWARDED. The days of multiple SECOND CHANCE DRAWINGS are long gone! The golden age of sweepstakes ended with the invention of the internet, I’M SORRY TO SAY!

    • Carolyn
      Carolyn November 9, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Hard to keep up with all the changes in the hobby as they are only evolving exponentially. Thank you for the update.

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