So my son, Kit, saw an ad for a chance to win a chance to win the car of his dreams. He filled out the form and submitted ONE entry. The Smithfield Sweepstakes was available to residents of 18 states through 2500 stores.
Entrants were allowed to submit up to five entries per week for the several week period of the contest. If we could estimate the number that might possibly add up to, it would likely be in the hundreds of thousands. Nope. Here’s a very low estimate I created. Please correct any error, and/or submit your calculation. Whatever formula is used, it’s gonna produce an astounding number of possible entries.
2500 stores X 100 customers/day = 250,000 x 5 entries one day = 1,250,000
1,250,000 x 90 days = 112,500,000 !!
What were the chances of Kit’s ONE entry being drawn by hand or pulled up by computer? The same as everyone else’s who only entered once? Whaddya bet most, if not all, entered more than once and likely several times?
This was one amazing Grand Prize! The Bird was shown across the country at shows, openings, fairs, etc. in the interest of promoting the Sweepstakes and enticing customers to purchase Smithfield products. Ironic twist: Kit entered THIS contest because:
1: The Grand Prize was Richard Petty’s Superbird clone. 2. It was free, No Purchase Necessary. He has said many times he would not have entered except the criteria was exactly right.
When Kit received an email saying he’d won one of fourteen First Prizes in the Sweepstakes, he didn’t remember entering the contest and the email asked for out-of-the-ordinary information about his finances. He figured it was a scam and deleted the message. Not a totally uncommon thing to do, but it added to the intrigue of his story.
Soon he received a second message saying it was Urgent so he read it then talked to a Smithfield rep on the phone. The rep told Kit he now only had two days to get his documents notarized and faxed to them. He lost several days time and a paraplegic needs all the time they can get. Another twist, he was unable to go. Would sending a proxy be acceptable? It was.
On the day of the drawing, Kit’s sister and nephew were in Miami preparing for the drawing while Kit was preparing to meet family and friends at my house. We become slightly concerned when he had not arrived at the designated time to begin our wait for the phone call from Stevanie.
That morning, after putting his things in the passenger seat to leave, Kit locked his keys in his van! He has never locked his keys in the van in all the ten years he’s owned it. Another touch of intrigue. He finally found the spare and arrived in time to tell us his “ominous” story and wait with us.
Final twist: when he answered his phone, knowing who it would be, Stevanie said, You Won!” I’ll call you back” then hung up. He thought she might be joking and didn’t say anything to the rest of us. We thought the phone had gone dead. When it rang again and she convinced him that he’d won, we all went ballistic, in a good way!
For more than one reason, Kit’s winning the Superbird was highly unlikely and beyond improbable but clearly meant to be.