I was eating at a fast food restaurant a few months ago when I noticed a Coca-Cola ad for a scratch and win competition with the grand prize being an iPad.
Being the opportunistic human being that I am, I decided to try my luck. I mean I am eating anyway so why not get free stuff as well. I was pretty sure, actually 100% confident that my scratch and win card would not bring me the iPad. It’s some sort of belief that I have grown up with after seeing the enormous amount of competitions in Egypt starting from the famous “Bim-Bim” in the 1980s and “El-Sham3edan”. If you’ve lived through these times, you’d know what I’m talking about: No one ever won the grand prize, and when someone did, you could never know whether they truly won or it was just a play.
Anyways, I discovered later that this Coca-Cola competition was going on in many restaurants affiliated with the coke company. So, what happened next is that I was chatting with a guy that I know who happens to take orders in a famous fast food chain. We talked about the aforementioned competition and he said:
“We had this competition going on here too, but it ended a while back. You know what happened? After all the coupons were used by clients, no one got the iPad or the camera (the other worthy prize). We had them stored at the restaurant until 2 guys working at Coca-Cola came by, ordered two large meals and then gave us two coupons they brought along and guess what? These were the coupons for the iPad and the camera”.
Another person would have been shocked but for me, I’ve already made peace with the fact that companies in Egypt only use competitions for marketing and public image purposes without letting “strangers” win. Usually the prizes go to someone affiliated with the company such as the manager’s relative or friend or something. Or there’s the other scenario of “pretending” that someone won, making a fake interview with them to be published and then claiming the prize back.
It goes without saying that the guy I asked could have been lying or just making this whole thing up. Therefore, I wanted to put my own theory to the test. I went to a couple of adjacent restaurants and over a few days kept ordering one or two meals a day to see if I can finally prove myself wrong and win the iPad. However, the last of the coupons was scratched and I won different prizes ranging from an ice cream cone to another set of car sun shields, but not the coveted gadget. Wow! So, I asked the manager of the other restaurant, if anyone won the iPad, since the gift cards were finished. He said no. So, the coupons are finished but the iPad is just sitting there. How exactly are you supposed to win this?
I would love if anyone can share a true story about someone they know, a relative, a friend or anyone who has actually won an expensive prize. I’m not talking about famous bloggers who receive free stuff from companies for the purpose of marketing and forcing them, indirectly, to write great reviews about their products. I’m talking about average people like you and me.
So, back to the question that makes the title of this post: How to win an iPad in Egypt?
You can’t, just buy it.