Yup, I fell for a gimmick.
This weekend, I got a flyer from the local car dealership about their "Grand Opening Event." Inside the flyer was a scratch-off game.
The instructions was easy: "Match 3 Parking Amounts in a row (up, down, across, or diagonally) and/or your car opens a lockbox, You are a winner."
My son scratched the game and was excited when three parking amounts matched diagonally for $20,000. We had to tell him that chances were that this was a gimmick for customers to show up to the store in hopes that you'll want to buy a car.
Regardless, I told him that I would go by the car dealership and see what we won.
I called the 800 number as instructed in the flyer. I gave them my access code, and, by-god, it was a match.
"When are you coming in to the showroom?" asked the receptionist.
"This afternoon, I guess," I responded.
"There must be a catch. It can't be this easy," I thought. "Although, it would be nice to get $20,000. It would pay a lot of our debt." I fell for the old sales trick in the book.
I showed up to the Kia Showroom, and walked up to the reception's desk. I showed her my flyer, and she directed me to sign in.
"Aha! This must be a gimmick," I thought to myself. I looked around and saw others with the same flyer. I got close to another victim of this folly, but he hid his flyer as if it were Charlie's golden ticket.
"So, what's the catch?" I asked one of the assistants.
"Well, we will call you up and you can check if your key opens the lock. If it does, then you win," explained this attractive saleslady.
A black gentleman, who was as skeptical as I was, came up to the reception and asked the same question I had asked. After she answered his question--similar to how she answered mine--I walked over to him and said, "It seems we both won $20,000."
"I hope they have more than just one twenty thousand dollars," he sarcastically responded with a laugh.
I was finally called by a salesman. He introduced himself. I did the same, but I also informed him that I was not looking for a car today, just here to see if I won something.
"What do you drive?" he asked.
"I drive a Toyota," I responded, "Don't get me wrong, I do like Kias and quite frequently ask for a Kia when I rent a car. They are good and dependable vehicles, but I'm not shopping for a car today."
"Okay, let's see if you won."
As I figured, the key that came in the mail didn't fit the keyhole. I didn't win. Oh well.
I actually thought that perhaps the flyer somehow was random and we ended up with the lucky combination.
They got me.
Sadly, if you read the game instructions, it does say, "Match 3 Parking Amounts." No where does it say that the amount you match is yours automatically. Instead, I won 2 "gold coins," which actually turned out to be two dollar coins--enough to pay for the gas. Plus, I was also entered into another raffle with many many others.