PolySciFi Blog

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Be a millionaire! Um...just not here...

Having tried and failed to become a millionaire via the TV game show route, another manner of hitting the seven-figure bigtime has come to my attention.

But I am left wondering whether or not, in the history of contests and sweepstakes, a prize sponsor might actively hope that an entire national economy might collapse prior to the awarding of the grand prize.

As it turns out, it's not happening in this case, but it's still an intriguing idea nonetheless.

Taco Bell is sponsoring the "Baja Blast Game," where one Grand Prize winner will receive a cool million...Mexican pesos. The cup that contains my entry code advertises the fact that one million pesos had a value of about USD 88,000 as of 28 January 2005. And that got me wondering, "Are they advertising that information to give the winner an idea of how much money they could win, or is that the actual prize?"

It ends up being the latter. According to the official rules, the grand prize winner will receive USD 88,849.90, taking that to be the official exchange rate on January 28.

But just imagine some Taco Bell executive watching the currency exchange rates the way that I watched mortgage rates two and a half years ago, looking for that fortuitous collapse in the peso that would signal the best time to award the "Grand Prize." I was, in fact, terribly surprised that such a disclaimer was not included in the rules.

Then again, as weak as the ol' Greenback's been lately, it's possible that letting the prize float would actually be a bad thing.

And since we're on the subject, has anyone else seen that Saturday Night Live sketch that featured the dollar, the pound sterling, the euro, and the peso in a musical chronicalling the dollar's latest slide? Was anyone else thinking? "One of these things is not like the other one, one of these things is not the same..."

Okay, maybe it was just me.


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