Friday, March 31, 2006

1 + 1 = Coffee and a Cruller?

So the other day, having nothing better to do during an early morning staff meeting that was endlessly dragging all attendees to that tenth circle of Hell, I started reading the side of my Tim Horton's coffee cup. Once again, the Canadian Coffee Maker has their "Roll up the Rim to Win" promotion going on. I never win. I buy my coffee and roll the win only to be told time and time again to "Play Again". All I ever win from Tim Horton's is a leaky cup that I don't notice until I am about halfway down Michigan Avenue on my way to work.

So in the conference room, as someone is talking about Synergy and Shared Mission, Shared Success, I rrrolled up my rim only to find that yet again, I won nothing.

But what if I did win?

As a United States Citizen, I would just turn in my cup for one of many fabulous prizes, like one of more than 27 MILLION donuts or cups of coffee.

But, lets just say I am like my dear friend Justin, a resident of the great Maple Leaf Land of Plenty. In order to claim his prize, he has to answer a Skill-testing question.

Let me repeat. A Skill-testing question.

In order for you to get your free cup of coffee, in Canada, you have to know the answer to...


The Skill Question of Canada Act even has a section on Wikipedia:

The combined effect of Sections 197 to 206 of the Canadian Criminal Code bans for-profit gaming or betting, with exceptions made for provincial lotteries, and licensed casinos and charity events. Many stores, radio stations, and other groups still wish to hold contests to encourage more purchases or increase consumer interest.

These organizations take advantage of the fact that the law does allow prizes to be given for games of skill, or mixed games of skill and chance. In order to make the chance-based contests legal, such games generally have mathematical skill-testing questions incorporated.
The most common form that these questions take is as an arithmetic exercise.

A court decision ruled that these must contain at least three operations to actually be skill testing; for example, a common question might be "(2 × 4) + (10 × 3)"

The Answer, by the way, is 38.

What other types of MATH questions do they use? How about this one:

A convoy of trucks loaded with Trash leaves Toronto at 7am. It travels east and reaches the Sarnia/Port Huron Bridge at 12:15. Taking into effect strict border security, at what time does this load of trash get dumped in a landfill on the American Side? What percentage of that trash is made up of losing Tim Horton's coffee cups?

Answer Correctly and you just may win!

(This column published in French by clicking on BabelFish)

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