Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What does it mean to win?

Normally, when I find a survey with a cash prize, I rarely think about completing it. True, this one has a prize of $2,500 awarded every month, but I would have passed it up had it not been for something odd. On the receipt, it says “No purchase necessary.” This is a pretty standard condition for most contests.

I wouldn’t have bothered, except that you have get a receipt ID number and a customer number. My first thought is that you do have to make a purchase to get a receipt and, therefore, a receipt ID number. Granted, you could be making a return, but it does seem rather odd.

I decided to call to see what the survey was like. After all, there may be an option to bypass the entry of the two numbers. It turns out that there wasn’t. Not only that, it turns out that some of the questions were about making the purchase. For instance, they wanted to know how many people were ahead of me on line and if anyone opened a new register.

There was nothing to press if I hadn’t been on line. How is it that no purchase is necessary if I have to answer questions about being on line as if I were there? Do they think I’d stand on line just to get a receipt so that I could enter their survey?

This reminds me of a promotion that one of the major credit cards ran several years ago. You may remember it. The deal was that as you did your Christmas shopping, you were entered into a drawing. I don’t remember the date range for the qualifying purchases, but if you won, you got all of your purchases for November and December paid for. Again, part of the small print read, “No purchase necessary.”

If I recall correctly, there was an address to write to as an alternate means of entry. It occurred to me that if you made no purchases during those two months and won, you’d essentially win nothing, as you would have spent noting. I can only assume that there must have been some minimum dollar amount that you’d win. It would suck to make one purchase for $2 and end up winning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Next Day...

Well, the projector didn’t break yesterday. I ended up seeing The Fountain. It wasn’t as strange as I thought, but I still don’t think that my parents would have liked it. It was a little hard to follow the story at first.

As for Where’s George, I was actually in the top 100 for my state for a few days, but I’ve fallen back down to 102 as of yesterday. I haven’t refreshed today because I haven’t had any hits, nor have I entered any new bills as of my last refresh, so I doubt that I’ve passed anyone. (Of 49,298 total active users on the site, I’m number 2,503.)

The one thing that I still can’t get is that, despite having over 400 hits, I’ve only hit 11 bills from other people. Among those in the chat room, results seem to be similar. You’d think that they’d average out, since every time someone hits a bill, someone else gets a hit. Granted, I’m dealing with a small population, but why such a discrepancy?

My theory is that there are a lot of unregistered users that hit bills. Most of the hits I get have no link to a profile or anonymous email. (That could mean that they’re either unregistered or that they just don’t have a profile.) I do know that there are a few people out there that only enter bills that are already marked, which leaves me to wonder if there’s someone out there with 500 bills that they’ve hit and only 20 bits of their own.

Monday, November 27, 2006

All the twos are gone

I finally spent all of the two-dollar bills that I entered and marked. (I actually got through with them a few weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten around to writing about it.) I’m not sure if I’m going to get more any time soon. That’s not to say that I won’t do it again ever. It’s just that it was kind of hard for me to spend them.

When I spend money, I usually spend under ten dollars. When I spend such a small amount of money, I like to spend singles because that maximizes the number of hits I can get. If I spend a $10 bill, that means only one hit I might get. If I spend ten singles, that means I have a potential for ten hits.

Even if I spend twos, that reduces the number of hits I might get to five. That’s not even considering the fact that most people will hold on to the twos and not probably not even enter them. I haven’t gotten any hits on the twos yet, despite having entered quite a few of them. I’m not sure if I should expect any soon.

I’ll be going out to the movies today to see a movie I had wanted to see Wednesday. I had gone to see Déjà Vu, but the projector broke. Everyone got a pass to see another movie. I’ll either be seeing Déjà Vu or The Fountain, depending on when I get to the theater.

You don’t really hear about that happening too much. In fact, in all the years I’ve been seeing movies, this is the first time that I’ve had it happen to me. Everyone I tell this to seem to have never had it happen to them. Granted, I don’t see movies in the theater much, but you’d think it would be a bit more common. (Not that I’m complaining…)

Oh, well. Here’s to hoping that the projector works this time…