There are lots of reasons why I don’t enter many contests. I generally have bad luck when it comes to winning anything, the prizes aren’t always that cool, and also some of them just take too much work. The problem is that I’m also a giant sucker. I fall for all kinds of things normal, rational people seem to avoid. Plus, numbers don’t mean anything to me, so when something says “Just fill out this quick form and you’re entered to win a Jumbotron TV. Easy, peezy, lemon squeezy. Chances of winning are 1 in a google”, I read “Pharon, you have a chance at winning this.”
Probably the best known Pharonism when it comes to “falling for promotions I do not understand” happened when I was 16. I went to get my oil changed, and drove out of the shop with 2 new, completely unnecessary, tires as well. “Mom! They were having a Buy One Get One Half Off promotion, and I was one of the lucky ones that got to take advantage of the offer! I was being economical!” After that, it took a long time for my parents to let me out in public alone. When Geo and I took a trip last year with some friends to my parents’ time share in Puerto Vallarta, my mom and dad had to very emphatically insist that I not be the one to attend the mandatory Time Share Informational Meeting. They were, rightly so, terrified that I would come back home the proud owner of a time share and newly bankrupt.
But then there are online sweepstakes. These I just love. I religiously enter Kate Spade giveaways. Recently, there was a chance to win a trip to Bali. I entered every single day for about 2 months, thinking that I was out-entering other people and would therefore surely win. I did not win. I was actually very surprised, too. It seemed like a sure thing. Next time, though. Next time, I’ll win for sure.
Then today on Twitter, I mindlessly entered a sweepstakes to win 2 Twins tickets and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch. I have no idea where all the information I submitted will end up, but my thought process is: I like the Twins. I love free tickets. Nothing about this is bad. And I wonder how the fine people at the Juvenile Diabetes Association get my phone number…I’m an idiot. But, I’m an idiot who could be watching a free baseball game next week. Take that!
As usual, in order to not make myself sound like too much of an idiot, I have to give myself some credit. I don’t fall for email scams, and I’ve never sent any money to Nigeria. I stay far far away from digital scams/promotions/sales incentives, for anything from anyone I do not know or did not sign up for. (Unlike a certain mom, who shall remain nameless, who was thisclose to clicking on one of those flashing pop-up windows that declared “You’re the 10,000,000,000th visitor! You’ve won a new iPod! Just click here!” Ha, ha…nOOb.) It’s like growing up in the digital age has ONLY prepared me to handle online sales pitches, and the face-to-face stuff kind of got lost somewhere. I just hope that when I’m sitting at the free Twins game, or strolling along the beaches of Bali that no one walks up to me and offers me free* tires.
*The asterisk, I have found out, is probably the most important thing to read, by the way. Here’s where they say things like “New tires come with lifetime subscription to Car & Driver magazine that you have to pay for and can never cancel. All tires arrive in 6-8 weeks, and will include 4 refugees who you must house, clothe, and feed for up to 18 years. Accepting tires without paying for them is a federal offense, and anyone who signs this deal is an idiot and will end up in jail. Free Tires, Inc. accepts no responsibility for any of the above mentioned, and non-mentioned, scenarios. By accepting this deal, you hereby preclude Free Tires, Inc. from all illegalities and financial wrong doing. Sucker."