Monday, August 04, 2008

When Is Winning More Like Losing?

I just received a notification that I won a 3rd prize (500 M$ points) in some GTA IV contest I don't even recall entering. Nice, right? Just to make sure it wasn't some sort of phishing scam, I checked out the official rules and noticed something odd about the prize list in Rule 4. (I've broken them out into paragraphs to make them more readable.)

Four (4) Grand Prizes. A four (4) day / three (3) night trip for the winner and a guest to New York, NY, to attend the Xbox LIVE Gold Party in New York. Trip includes round trip coach air transportation for winner and a guest from a major U.S. commercial airport nearest winner's home, three (3) nights standard, double occupancy hotel accommodations (one room, two people), ground transportation in New York to and from the airport and the hotel and $200 cash, awarded as a check from the Sweepstakes Administrator. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of Grand Prize: $2,500.

One Hundred (100) First Prizes. A custom Xbox 360 Elite console. ARV of First Prize: $500.00.

Two Thousand (2,000) Second Prizes: A Rockstar baseball bat. ARV of Second Prize: $50.00.

Five Thousand (5,000) Third Prizes: 500 Microsoft Points. ARV of Third Prize: $6.25.

Three Thousand (3,000) Fourth Prizes. 1,000 Microsoft Points. ARV of Fourth Prize: $12.50.

Two Thousand (2,000) Fifth Prizes. 1,600 Microsoft Points. ARV of Fifth Prize: $20.00.

Five Thousand (5,000) Sixth Prizes. A one (1) month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription. ARV of Sixth Prize: $7.99.

Three Thousand (3,000) Seventh Prizes: A three (3) month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription. ARV of Seventh Prize: $19.99.

Two Thousand (2,000) Eighth Prizes. A twelve (12) month Xbox LIVE Gold subscription. ARV of Eighth Prize: $49.99.

Total ARV of all prizes: $468,650
Am I wrong in thinking that while the grand though second prizes are in proper order, 3rd-8th prizes are absolutely bass-ackwards? How is third prize the least valuable while eighth is the most valuable?!? I'm not ungrateful - free stuff is free stuff - but how a major promotional outfit and Microsoft didn't have anyone notice that these looked pretty stupid is a question worth pondering for a moment,

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