Measure for Measure

At last night’s Maple Leaf debacle, both the Leaf players and the team ownership & advertisers were extremely successful in their “giveaways”. That wasn’t a good thing for the Leaf players. Enough about that. I’m going to talk about 3 of the ownership “giveaways”; that is, contests resulting in prizes being awarded to people attending the game.

In one, a man won a trip for 2 to Las Vegas. He had to answer three questions. The cynic would say the difficulty was determined by the fact that the questions would be posed to a member of the “Leaf Nation”. Leave it that “who is buried in Grant’s tomb” would have been rejected as too difficult a question.

In another, the couple won the prize if their answers to the same questions (posed separately) matched. One of the questions, put to the (apparently) male member of the couple, was whether he’d rather be on a plane with his partner or a well known, beautiful, (female) Hollywood movie star. Remarkably, he didn’t choose the starlet.

In the third, the question was difficult unless one is a collector of useless Leaf trivia. Nonetheless, the fan guessed right. He had three choices: A, B and C. He chose A. The look on his face (displayed on the large video-screen) was that he had no idea so chose A because it was first.

The prize? Each person at the game can use his or her ticket stub for an “original Harvey’s burger” at a Harvey’s outlet. That means Harvey’s could give away as many as about 20K burgers, if each person holding a ticket collects. Won’t happen, of course. I’d like to know – just because – how many people collect.


  1. The law-related subtext of the posting is the “skill-testing” component of which is, I suspect, what is required to prevent such contests falling afoul of the provisions of the anti-gambling provisions of the Criminal Code, particulary s. 206. (The Laffs may, currently, be a sinking ship which occasionally operates at least 5 nautical miles away from any Canadian port, but I don’t think the s. 207 exception applies.)

    What can I say? It was a very bad, very boring game and I needed to think of something to keep me awake.


  2. Let’s be less subtle and pretend I had made it clear that I was trying to invite comment about the way that laws sometimes force people to take silly steps – cue John Cleese – in order to comply with the the law.

    What is less humorous is that, in “contests” of the type I described, the law is creating what amounts to dishonesty. The contest holder wants the person whose ticket has been chosen to win, so the contest is made as simple as possible. It’s not quite fixed, because the candidate could be a Palin or Quayle equivalent – but it’s close enough.

    Do situations of this sort engender disrespect for the system amongst those who know what’s going on and why?